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'• » • • 1 

Lady Blunt 

Wearing Order of Chefakat, " Order of Virtue," presented 

to her by Sultan Abdul Hamid in 1886. 



By fanny, lady BLUNT 

Author or 
"The People of Turkey" 






rat A .3 




Malta, 1918. 


By Admiral Sir ROSSLYN WEMYSS, G.C.B. 

To many of the present generation the names 
of Sir John and Lady Blunt probably convey but 
little ; but to those of us who are old enough 
to remember events of the last thirty years, they 
recall a very interesting period of history in which 
they played a prominent part. 

Not only as the gifted authoress of T'he People 
of Turkey^ but also as the wife of one of our 
most successful Consuls - General in the Levant, 
Lady Blunt's name ought to be enshrined in 
the grateful recollection of Englishmen. > 

Unfortunately, the English memory is short, 
and the rewards for meritorious work in the 
English Public Service are not, as a rule, adequate 
to the services rendered. Moreover, the general 
public is, more often than not, totally lacking 
in appreciation or even in knowledge of those 
by whose strenuous efforts and self-sacrificing 
labours England's power, influence, and good name 
abroad are upheld. How often after a life of 
patriotic expatriation do these men retire, only 
to find themselves strangers in their own land, 


and to spend a lonely old age amidst a generation 
which ignores all their toils on its behalf. 

Naval officers, who are generally better ac- 
quainted with the fringes of the Empire, more 
readily realise the magnitude and efficiency of 
the work done by England's civil servants abroad, 
and there are many of them who will remember 
with gratitude the warm welcome and charming 
hospitality of *'Aunt Fanny" — hospitality which 
was accompanied by such kindly advice and 
instructive conversation as can only be given by 
a talented and clever woman. Those who have 
read The People of Turkey will peruse with 
pleasure these memoirs, and will realise how 
great were the services rendered by Lady Blunt 
and her husband to the country. 

R. E. WEMYSS, Admiral 

Athen^um Club. 


I THINK it possible that my reminiscences, bound 
up as they are with the Near East and going 
back as they do to the early and middle parts of 
the last century, may prove of interest to my 
English friends at this present time when Turkey 
and Bulgaria, Greece and Albania are so much 
before the eyes of the world in the. great drama 
of War at present being tragically played in 
Europe. I will not try to foretell the future, but 
I think there is interest to be gathered from the 
incidents traced on the tablets of my memory, of 
the conditions of life as they were in my childhood. 
My father, Mr Donald Sandison, had come to 
Turkey in the beginning of last century and 
settled in Constantinople as the representative of 
the East India Company. His business flourished 
up to the time of the Janissary Rebellion, in the 
reign of Sultan Mahmoud. During this rebellion 
my father's house of business, like many others, 
was not only looted and burnt down but his 
business was so thoroughly disorganised that it 
could not be built up again in Constantinople. 

My father married Miss Mary Zohrab, whose 
family had originally come from Persia. There 


were two branches of this princely house who had 
quitted Sistan in Persia during some revolutionary 
upheaval. One branch settled in Europe, the other, 
my grandfather's branch, settled in Turkey. My 
grandmother on my mother's side was a daughter 
of the Marquis de Serpos who belonged to an old 
Venetian family, who had also settled in Turkey, 
and of this marriage there were six children, three 
boys and three girls, of whom my mother was the 
youngest girl. The boys were all educated in 
England. Two of them, my uncles Edward and 
Paul, became distinguished men in the Turkish 
and Egyptian Services. The youngest son, John, 
equally clever and of great personal attraction, was 
a keen sportsman and settled down on a fine estate 
in Asia Minor on the skirts of Mount Olympus of 
mythological fame, where he spent his life hunting 
wild boar, bears, and other creatures which were 
then to be found in those wild regions, over- 
shadowed by the snow-capped summit of that 
wonderful mountain. One of my aunts married 
an Englishman, the other, a very gifted girl, died 
of plague in Constantinople when about eighteen 
years of age. 

I give these few details with regard to my 
forebears as I want my friends to know something 
of my genealogical tree, for, owing to my cosmo- 
politan education and versatile knowledge of 
languages, my origin I know has at times been 
thought to be connected with a variety of 
nationalities. Admiral Harris, in his interesting 


book of travels in the Near East, describes me as 
a Roumanian when he gives a romantic account 
of my marriage to Sir John Blunt, which amused 
us very much. However flattering Admiral 
Harris' description of me as a Roumanian girl 
may be, I prefer to stand on the merits of my 
English nationality, for like all Britishers who 
are foreign or colonial born, I love the grand 
old country which has produced the greatest nation 
of the world, and claim it for my own. 

It is now over forty years since I wrote my 
book, The People of Turkey, Much has happened 
in the mysterious regions of the Near East since 
that time. The Near East is a land of prosperous 
sunshine, interspersed with heavy storms of national 
disaster, storms which follow one another as the 
various Balkan States rise and fall. Each of these 
storms has left its mark, without, however, attract- 
ing any very definite European notice beyond that 
of one or two Powers deeply interested in passing 

Many years have gone by since I left Turkey, 
but I have never lost the keen interest with which 
that country and its people inspired me. My 
experiences in Turkey were so varied that the 
desire to put them on record has brought about 
this volume of reminiscences. The wish to make 
my memoirs available for others was, I confess, 
greatly stimulated by my long stay in Thessalonica, 
the Salonika of modern days, and my good fortune 
in seeing so much of our glorious Navy, a good 


fortune which can rarely, if ever, have fallen to the 
lot of other women. 

My most grateful thanks are due to Dr May 
Thorne, who, fortunately for me, is now in Malta 
attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps, and 
who has given much of her leisure time to prepare 
my Reminiscences for publication. I am most 
grateful for her sympathetic and able help, for, 
without her encouragement and devoted work, 
I feel sure these Reminiscences would never have 
seen the light. I should also like to thank 
Admiral Ballard, Mr Ruck Keene, Dr Mizzi, 
Mr Alvarez, Mr Constantinidi, and many other 
friends, for their kind help in many ways. 

In semi-savage countries like Turkey friend- 
ships develop and grow into delightful lasting 
intimacies. My husband and I had the privilege 
of many such friendships, which eventually cul- 
minated in my being adopted as " Aunt Fanny " 
by a number of young naval officers, who called 
themselves my " extraordinary nephews." Many 
of these " extraordinary nephews " are now dis- 
tinguished men, as Admirals Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, 
Sir Stanley Colville, A. W. Waymouth, Mark 
Kerr, Allan Everett, Caley, Captains Sir Douglas 
Brownrigg, Cecil M. Staveley, and very many 
others, while the younger ones are fast mounting 
up the rungs of the ladder of promotion. 

It only seems a few years ago since Jeanne and 
I measured some of these boys against the wall and 
registered their height in pencil marks, I mothered 


them, mended their jackets, took care of their 
boxes while they went off on expeditions, while 
Jeanne, who was always looked upon as the special 
guardian of the midshipmen, at times got her little 
friends out of all sorts of scrapes, took care of their 
money and their watches, and generally acted 
towards them as a good elder sister. 

It gladdens my heart to see these young fellows 
come in now and again with an extra stripe or two 
on their sleeves, and I feel proud and full of grati- 
tude as they bend down and embrace me, and say in 
voices of genuine affection, "Dear old Aunt Fanny." 




Birthplace— Journey to Brussa — Description of Brussa and 
our home— Signor Fortunato — Childhood— Italian Com- 
mission — Battle of the Yellow Slippers — Cholera . 



State Prisoners— Emir Bekir — Abd-el-Kader— Persian Royal 
Family — General Kossuth— Grisioti Andarti — Bosnians 
— Roumanians ...... 22 



Crimean War — Roman Baths at Kucutlu — Earthquake — 
Voyage to Constantinople — Kadi Kieu — My First Ball 
— Antislavery Mission — Adventure in Constantinople — 
Sultan Abdul Aziz— Visit to England— Storm— Return 
to Brussa — Forest Fire ..... 35 



My Brother's Departure for Constantinople— M. le Baron de 
Lesseps— Journey to Bitholia— Reception at Consulate — 
Serbian and Kurd Heroines — Turkish Army — Visit 
of a Member of Parliament — Engagement — Wedding — 
Uskub— Callers — Plum-pudding . . . .52 





Consular Work at Uskub — Albanians — Sheik's Treatment 
of " Swift " — Mardiros Eflfendi — Constantinople — Ascend- 
ancy of Greeks over Bulgarian Church— Bulgarian 
Aspirations — Mrs Suchodolska — Abdul Medjid— Visit of 
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales . . ' . .69 



Smyrna — Albanian Brigands — Philipopolis — American Mis- 
sionaries — Robert College — Visit to Asian — Escort of 
Brigands ....... 84 



Adrianople — I impersonate a Turkish Lady — Fire — Flood — 

Imperial Palace— Lucy Blunt . . . .95 



Journey to Belgrade — Kezanlik — Tight-rope Dancers — Nivesta 
— Bobouna Pass — Tower of Human Skulls— I take 
Turkish Ladies to Vienna— Prince Michael — Return to « 
Adrianople — Turkish Quarrel — Silkworms . . 109 



Monastir — Terrific Storm— Colonel Synge — Official Homes — 

Perishan— Journey to Salonika— Description of Salonika 128 





Troubles connected with a Convert to Mohammedanism — 
Massacre of the Consuls — Madame Moulin — H.M.S. 
Swiftsure—^u Henry Elliot .... 138 



Safety of Officers and Men of Men-of-War — Quarrels 
between all Classes and all Kaces — Greek Freebooters 
— Nico— Mr Alvarez — My Husband's Illness — Visit to 
Constantinople — Arabi Pasha's Kebellion — Excavations 
at Troy ....... 148 



Sultan Medjid — Sultan Aziz — Prince Murad — Sultan Abdul 
Haraid — Visit to Stamboul — Spies — I visit Mosque — 
Visits to Dervish Pasha— Chief of Police — Raouf Pasha 158 



Temporary Consuls — Mr Allison — Visit to England — The 
People of Turkey — Lady Salisbury — Mr Gladstone — 
Lady Burdett-Coutts — Keception at Foreign Office — 
Lord Salisbury — My Husband appointed Consul-General 
— Lord Lucan — Eussian Consul . . . .172 



Sir H. E. H. Jerningham— Midhat Pasha— Consulate- 
Archduke of Austria — M. Leon de Tineau — 1888 — 
Consular Abodes— Ball — H.M.S. Alexandra— ^dlloi and 
his Donkey— Austrian Men-of-War . . .184 





Ball given by M. Charnaud — Consuls — Burning down of 
• Consulate— H.M.S. Australia— My Mother— Kucutlu . 197 



Villa Mon Plaisir — Mary and laabelle de Bilinski — Belief in 
Kismet — Young Turkey Party — Turks of my Time- 
Admiral Sir Michael Culme Seymour — Hodjabachi of 
Cassandra — Redjeb Pasha — Visit to England . . 208 



Boulvard Hamidia — Admiral Sir George Tryon— Midship- 
man's Feelings— Practical Jokes — "My Extraordinary 
Nephews" ....... 215 



Egypt— Lord Wolseley— Ball at Ghezireh Palace— Dinner 
given by Connaught Rangers — General Kitchener— Slatin 
Pasha — Khedive Mehemet Ali — Khedive Ismail — 
Egyptian Princesses— Besime, Sultana— Zulfica . . 222 



Jubilee ISO*? — M. Venezelos— Greeks — Anniversary of Corona- 
tion of King George— Smyrna— Dr Freshfield — Semi- 
savage Tribes ....... 



Voyage to Mount Athos — Monasteries — Empress Helen — St 
Basil — I land on Mount Athos — Enraged Monk — Lady 
Stratford de Redcliffe— Importance of Mount Athos — 
Russia before Liberation of Serfs .... 246 



Greco-Turkish War — War Correspondents — Greeks and 
Turks— Greek Prisoners — England's Loan to Greece — 
Bulgarians— Macedonia's Aspirations . . . 255 



Sir Herbert Chermside — Highland Light Infantry— Padre 
An tonino— Turks' Treatment of Christians— European 
Gendarmerie Corps — Cour Judiciare— Captain Blunt- 
Meeting of Moslem Ladies— Canea— King of Montenegro 264 



Departure from Consulate — Visit to my Brother— Armenian 
Massacres— Germans in Constantinople— Governor of 
Jerusalem— Sedes — Mr and Mrs Charles Allatini — 
Greeks' Appreciation of the English . . . 272 



The Defterdar — Young people's pranks— Farewell to Salonika 
— To London via Uskub — Sophia and Belgrade — History 
of Serbs ....... 





Voyage to Boston — ^Arrival— Surprises— Christian Scientists 
and Islamism— The New World— Veteran British 
Subjects in Canada — Visit to Germany . . . 292 



Malta— Valetta— Old Friends— Lord Grenfell— Sir John 
Blunt—Koyal Visitors— Entertainments on Men-of-War 
—Lord and Lady Methuen . . . . .299 

Index . . • • . • • • .309 


Lady Blunt, wearing Order of Chefakat, "Order 
of Virtue," presented to her by Sultan Abdul 
Hamid in 1886 ..... Frontispiece 

Lady Blunt, 1876 . . . . . To face p. 134 

As this Book is in (^rcal jc kna^ind, it 
is respectfully requested that it m^y. jb.e. 
retiu'ued to the Library as soon as read 
in order to fticilitate other Subscribers 
getting it without undue delay. 



I WAS born at Therapia, that beautiful suburb of 
Constantinople on the shores of the Bosphorus 
where the members of the Diplomatic Corps lived. 
Our house stood on the hill, and from the long 
terrace which ran down one side of it we had 
glorious views over the Black Sea, which was 
some two or three miles from us. 

I was the youngest in a family of six children, 
five girls and one boy, and though I have no 
remembrance of Therapia in these very early days, 
yet I returned to it many times in after years 
and knew the house of my birth and the garden, 
and have often enjoyed the beautiful views from 
it. After my father's business in Constantinople 
had been destroyed by means of the upheaval 
caused by the Janissary Rebellion, he accepted, in 
the early days of Queen Victoria's reign, the post 
of British Consul at Brussa, one of the early 
capitals of Turkey, and the chief town of 
Bithynia when but little was known of Turkey, 
and still less of Brussa. Brussa at the time it 
belonged to the Greeks had been the centre of a 

1 B 

2 ' '' ' ^ ^JOmiNEY TO BRUSSA 

'^flbiii^isliiilg ^^fld^^eftile district, but the laisser- 
faire policy of the Turks had let these fertile 
.lands fall into disuse, so that when my father 
planned to go there with his wife and ^oung 
family, he was strongly advised to go alone and 
see for himself what the place was like. My 
mother, however, was so insistent that she should 
not be left alone in Therapia that on a fine autumn 
day we were all taken to Stamboul to embark on 
board an old Greek trading vessel bound for 
Moudania, the nearest port to Brussa. 

We must have been an interesting crowd, 
travelling as people in the East so often do, with 
all our servants and furniture, and the numerous 
"hangers-on" which a considerable household 
and the kind-heartedness of my generous mother 
gathered about it. There were my father and 
mother, my sisters and brother, my nurse, a tall, 
dark, somewhat awe-inspiring woman, a Greek 
who looked upon me as a doll to be dressed up 
and kept out of 9,11 play and mischief, and from 
whose arms I rarely escaped, except to be set 
down on a chair or stool till she was ready to 
take me up again. How well I remember the 
feel of her strong arms as she carried me about ! 

Besides the cook and the usual household 
servants, the horse-keeper and the cow-keeper, 
there was an old Armenian whose only duties as 
far as I remember were to turn the spit of the 
meat as it roasted before the great open fire, and 
to clean the boots ; an old woman and her 
daughter whose duties were never in the least 
defined, and a sort of idiot whom my mother 
looked after because nobody else would. 


The weather was fine and a fresh breeze swept 
over the blue Sea of Marmora, and our journey 
was accomplished more quickly than had been 
anticipated- On our arrival at Mondania no one 
expected us, and after considerable delay a farmer 
was found, who, after calling upon Allah and 
expressing astonishment at the number of persons 
and things to be conveyed, said, " All the same I 
will do my best to procure a couple of horses 
and some mules for you. This is the vintage 
harvest, and in the village I can get you some 
grape-panniers which can be placed on the mules' 
backs, in which your children, God bless them, 
can be stowed away, and a man can be sent with 
you to ride on the pack-saddle and pacify the 
kicking beasts." My sisters, on hearing of this 
novel mode of travelling, refused to be stowed 
away in the sticky panniers like grapes being 
taken to the press, but, faute de mieuoc, they had 
to submit, and with many protestations got into 
the baskets and followed my father and mother 
who headed the caravan on horseback, and were 
followed by children, several dogs, the precious 
English cow, and an Angora cat. The servants, 
hangers-on aforesaid, and carts with furniture 
struggled along behind. It was now evening 
and the whole procession was escorted by a dozen 
or more tattered guards, armed to the teeth, as 
a protection against a night attack by brigands. 
The journey, well timed, neared its destination in 
safety in the early morning, when the first sight 
of beautiful Brussa was seen with the rays of 
the golden sun just touching the points of the 
minarets of the mosques and temples, with here 


and there solemn cypress trees guarding the tombs 
of the saints. The whole earth, fresh and glisten- 
ing with the heavy dew which is always present 
during the summer months, now showed on a 
wealth of flowers as the rapidly increasing light 
let their brilliant colours be seen. The whole 
place was beautiful to the eyes of our party as 
they approached the town. But these impressions 
rapidly gave place to feelings of disappointment, 
when the narrow, ill-paved streets of the town 
were entered, and stifling smells were encountered 
from the heaps of decaying dirt and vegetation 
which were on every side, the mangy dogs being 
the only scavengers of the place. They were 
depressed, too, to see the poor appearance of the 
unshaved Christians * trying to hide themselves 
within the shadows of the doors and narrow ways 
as they went to their daily occupations. These 
poor appearances, we learnt later, were often 
deceptive, for the Christians found it imperative 
to give no sign of wealth or comfort, or they 
would assuredly have at once been oppressed by 
the Turks. On many occasions I have seen the 
interior of houses of an outward desolate poor 
appearance, and been struck by the comfort found 
in them. A Christian in those days was a dog to 
be harassed, starved, and thrashed on the slightest 
provocation. Little wonder that he did his best 
to hide away any slight possessions he had 
accumulated, so that he might in no way rouse 
the envy and spite of his lords and masters. 

On passing to the Turkish quarter of Brussa 
our party found a great improvement. The 
houses were better built, the streets wider and 


cleaner, the people better clad and of a more 
dignified appearance. My father was fortunate 
enough to have the offer of the best and finest 
house in one of the Turkish quarters. It had 
belonged to the last Dere Bey or feudal governor 
of that district of Brussa. The privileges of these 
Dere Beys or feudal lords originated from the 
time of the conquest of Asia Minor by the Turks. 
As the Central Power began to weaken and 
become less affluent in consequence of this system, 
Sultan Mahmoud at the beginning of the 
nineteenth century suppressed the whole system 
and confiscated the property of these feudal land- 
lords, and caused some of the most troublesome 
ones to disappear. The Dere Bey of Brussa must 
have been one of the last to disappear, as his 
konak or mansion was in perfect order when 
handed over to us. Large, commodious, well 
situated, with the oriental finish of a fine garden, 
and a lovely Turkish bath built in marble. There 
was as well, a jail, or dungeon, which my brother 
and I explored as we grew a little older. It was 
a place of gloom, airless, dark, half buried in the 
earth, with its strong walls facing each other 
barely more than a foot's space between, the 
walls furnished with heavy chains to be placed on 
the feet and hands of the innocent or criminal 
prisoners kept standing till death released them 
from their suffering. 

My mother, with her refined taste and with 
the furniture she had brought, soon managed to 
transform this Turkish konak into a comfortable 
and pretty English country-house, without losing 
any of its oriental charm. 


The town of Brussa, bereft of its past import- 
ance and style, still possessed some fine old 
churches, mostly transformed into mosques, as 
well as a number of others built centuries ago in 
most exquisite Arabic style, an indestructible 
Roman bath, and a few bridges. The old bazaar 
was decayed and ruined. 

There were a few coffee-houses and a big Han, 
a business resort where all the mercantile offices 
were placed. The town was almost divided into 
two parts by a lovely ravine which separated the 
Turkish from the Christian quarters. These latter, 
occupied by Greeks and Armenians, made but a 
poor show, for the reasons I have given. The 
Turkish quarter appeared better than it was by 
reason of the comparison with the poverty-stricken 
appearance of the Christian quarter of this 
neglected and abandoned capital of the Turkish 

Of European society there was none, not even 
any foreign consulate. The Great Powers at that 
time were represented, save the mark ! by a 
self-made consul, an Italian adventurer, Signor 
Fortunato by name, who had married a native 
woman and settled in Brussa where his knowledge 
of foreign languages attracted the attention of the 
authorities, so that on the rare occasions when a 
European visitor made his appearance in the 
country they referred him to Signor Fortunato. 
Thus encouraged, Signor Fortunato represented 
himself as a self-made consul for all the Great 
Powers. It happened a short time after our 
arrival that an old friend of my father's came to 
Brussa to pay him a surprise visit. On inquiring 


of some of the townsfolk where the British Con- 
sulate was, he was directed to Signor Fortunato's 
dingy-looking abode. He dismounted from his 
horse, knocked at the door which was opened by a 
slatternly, barefooted maid-servant, who said the 
consul was not at home but the Signora would be 
glad to see him if he would come in. The maid 
led him through a sombre courtyard and stopped 
in front of a huge tub in which a dishevelled, bare- 
footed, fat woman was pressing grapes. " Ecco la 
Signora," said the maid, pointing to the lady. 
The astonished visitor, horrified at the taste of his 
friend in the choice of his wife, asked her where 
Mr Sandison, the consul, was to be found. "I 
know of no consul but my husband, Signor 
Fortunato," said the wine presser, " if you wish to 
see him I will get out of the tub and send for 
him." My father's friend thought it best to beat 
a hasty retreat as he begged the lady not to 
disturb herself, and remounting his horse soon 
came across an Armenian who fortunately knew 
where we lived. My father, delighted to see his 
old friend, took him up at once to introduce him 
to my mother, who had been one of the most 
lovely ladies of Constantinople. Struck by the 
contrast with that of his recent experience, he 
could not help relating his meeting with Signora 
Fortunato, which greatly amused my people. 

Strange to say the same evening he happened 
to fall into another adventure equally puzzling, if 
less amusing. My mother had transformed a lovely 
terrace covered with jasmine and honeysuckle into 
a summer dining-room. The terrace had a deep 
marble basin in the centre full of cold water which 


gave a refreshing coolness. The dining-table covered 
with the whitest of damask effectually screened 
the marble basin beneath it. The evening breeze 
sweeping gently over the scented creepers caused 
the variegated lamps hanging overhead to sway to 
and fro, and these attracted the attention of our 
visitor, so that my mother forgot to warn him to 
be careful not to stretch his feet beyond the 
margin of the marble basin beneath. Whilst 
enjoying the hot soup he gave a sudden start and 
asked my mother whether a cold foot-bath formed 
part of our oriental welcome to a guest. " No," 
said mother, with an apology smothered in laughter, 
*'it was a mere accident owing to my having 
forgotten to warn you to be careful with your 
feet." " Well," said he with a bow, " I can assure 
you, Mrs Sandison, that I have found your 
welcome as warm as this water is cold." 

My childhood was spent almost entirely at 
Brussa, and a very happy childhood it was. My 
brother and I were great companions and had 
many adventures in the country together. We 
used to have lessons with the children of the 
American missionary who lived near by, and the 
daily interchange of ideas with a family brought 
up under such different hereditary influences to 
ours was an education in itself. Our holidays 
were frequently spent at my Uncle John's house 
on the lower slopes of Mount Olympus, where 
close to the garden was a lovely little limpid 
mountain stream, with the light glinting on the 
water as it flowed over a bed of silvery sand and 
multi-coloured pebbles, along the banks of which 
willow trees grew, and where there was a little spot 


which formed a perfect bower. Here as I 
grew a little older I used to sit and dream of 
the time when I should be able to roam into 
regions and countries revealed to me by books of 
travel which impressed themselves deeply on my 
developing mind. I believe there is no power 
stronger and healthier than Nature in her beautiful 
and harmonious moods for the development of 
love and sympathy in ripening youth. I still 
remember some of the impressions of those happy 
days, and rejoice to think how the memories of 
those sunny days recur to me often even now, and 
how they have outlived the memories, or rather, 
are stronger than the memories of the sorrows 
which came to us even then. 

Hadgi Eivat was the name of the small 
Turkish village my Uncle John had chosen to live 
in, and where he wished to cultivate his farm in the 
English style. An utterly hopeless plan, alas ! in 
a savage country full of ignorant peasants, who 
rendered useless and even dangerous the agri- 
cultural implements he had had sent to him from 
England. A thrashing-machine, being the largest 
of his implements, attracted a good deal of 
attention without, however, any of the farm hands 
and onlookers realising its power and weight. My 
uncle himself superintended the trial of this 
machine, but during a few minutes' absence one 
of the peasants lay flat on the ground in front of it 
and allowed it to go over him, with the result that 
he was at once crushed to death. On my uncle's 
return he saw with horror the mangled corpse, 
whilst the peasants gathered round merely said 
*'that it was the devil at work," and none of 


them would go near any of the machinery 

Soon after this event a case of savagery 
occurred through uncontrolled jealousy, which 
illustrates the small personal control which 
ignorant barbarians possess. A pretty, fresh- 
looking young Turkish girl lived with her husband 
in a single-roomed cottage by the roadside, which 
necessitated her going out of the house to fetch 
water from the well more often than her jealous 
husband liked. On one of these occasions, meeting 
her on the road, he pulled her into the cottage, 
threw her down and cut off her nose. My uncle 
passed by soon after, and hearing agonised cries 
went in to the cottage and saw the horrible cruelty 
which had been inflicted on the helpless girl. He 
asked her where the bit of her nose was to be 
found, but all he could gather between her sobs 
was, "pesherdi da yedi " — "he cooked it and ate 
it, he cooked it and ate it." My uncle doctored 
the wound as best he could, but as it healed the 
pretty little village maiden languished and faded 
away and died a few months later. 

I hardly think any children can have had so 
free a time as we had during our holidays. My 
brother and I had many adventures as we roamed 
about the countryside. I well remember once 
when he was just beginning to smoke and puffed 
away at a pipe while we were walking through 
some fields watching the cattle grazing, that we 
noticed a solitary camel wandering along and 
gradually coming nearer to us, and repeatedly 
putting his head up and down and murmuring in 
the disagreeable way camels can murmur. Feeling 


a little afraid of this evidently somewhat ill- 
tempered brute we began to run away, but the 
camel came after us considerably quicker than we 
could get away from him and gained on us fast. 
Searching hurriedly for some kind of shelter we 
noticed a gipsy tent close by into which we hastily 
ran. No one was there, but the camel followed 
fast on our heels, and though he could not get 
into the tent he pushed his long neck in and made 
the tent shake most alarmingly, whilst at the same 
time he breathed harder and harder in his rage at 
not getting at us. Frightened to death we hid 
ourselves under some heaps of horribly dirty rags 
and rugs lying on the tent floor, hoping in this 
way to escape the attentions of our pursuer. 
Firmly convinced that this was a cannibal camel 
bent on eating us we hid still more securely under 
the filthy coverings, and my brother put the pipe 
he had been smoking in his pocket. Presently to 
our great relief we heard a voice outside, and 
someone drove the camel out of the way, and then 
came into the tent. We were so hidden that we 
neither saw nor could be seen, but the language 
we heard when the man saw his coverings topsy- 
turvy was strong and forcible. 

Our minds, excited by our recent adventure, 
were ready to be afraid again and with thumping 
hearts we both feared lest the gipsy, when he 
found us, would kill us and put us into one of his 
dirty sacks and carry us away. Soon he saw an 
arm and dragging us out accused us of trying to 
steal his hidden money. Standing us both in front 
of him he made us turn out our pockets. While 
we were trying to tell him the reason of our coming 


into his tent the pipe dropped from my brother's 
pocket, when the gipsy laughed and said, " Now I 
understand why the camel followed you, camels 
love the smell of tobacco and will always follow 
anyone who has a pipe. You must go home now 
and take me with you, when you must give a large 
backsheesh to the old gipsy for having made use 
of his tent." 

Those who have lived in the East know 
with what rapidity ravines ordinarily dry, are 
filled by tempestuous torrents carrying down 
with them broken branches, stones, animals, and 
other debris. One stormy looking day, I, an 
irresponsible child craving for adventures, most 
unwisely wandered away for a ramble by myself 
when I was overtaken by a torrential storm. 
Hastening back as fast as I could, I found that 
the ravine I had to cross had become a deep and 
foaming river. I stood on the bank, a desolate 
little figure with the thunder crashing overhead 
and the lightning blinding my eyes, wondering 
however I should get home, when I heard a shout 
behind me and turned to see one of the farm hands 
running towards me. He caught me up in his 
arms and powerfully swung himself across the 
torrent, and managed to escape the boulders and 
uprooted trees which came crashing down. We 
reached home knee-deep in liquid mud, and I 
remember being given a hot bath and put to bed 
and fed on a good bowl of bread and milk, and 
got no harm. But this was a storm of unusual 
severity, and on waking next morning I looked 
out of the window and saw the whole countryside 
fiooded, and we were prisoners in the house for 


several days. Animals of all kinds strayed in or 
near our farm, and one sight I shall never forget ; 
an ass was there holding a dead wolf by the neck 
between his jaws. How the ass had ever been 
able to attack the wolf remains a mystery, but 
the villagers were in high glee at this extra- 
ordinary sight and roared with laughter as, with 
considerable difficulty, the ass was induced to give 
up his prey. 

Another time my brother and I were playing 
in the garden when a couple of ill-looking, 
mysterious men came in by way of a gate which 
opened into a deserted side street. .Frightened at 
their presence we scampered into the house and 
told my father who came out and ordered the men 
off. About half an hour afterwards when we had 
forgotten all about these men there was a great 
uproar in the street, and on looking out we saw a 
crowd of people, one of whom was holding a half- 
strangled boy in his arms. I remember the horrid 
blue look on the boy's face now. The man who 
held the boy was the child's father, who said he had 
/ seen two men trying to force what he had feared 
was the dead body of his boy into a sack. But as 
the men dropped their burden and ran away he 
had rescued his boy and brought him at once to 
the Consulate to seek redress and the expulsion of 
these ne'er-do-wells. These mysterious people 
turned out to be a set of primitive people who had 
pitched their tents near the tombs of Sultan Orham 
and of the saints and martyrs of his time, on the 
lower slopes of Mount Olympus, because they 
believed that great treasure was hidden in these 
tombs. The treasure so they stated could only be 


found by those who lighted forty candles made of 
the fat from the bodies of forty children of the 
district. These candles were to be lit when the 
digging for the treasure commenced, in order to 
gain the favour of the spirit guarding the treasure 
so that it might not be turned into charcoal. I 
had quite forgotten this incident, but it was re- 
called to my mind by the recent description of 
the hideous method of the Germans to obtain 

Rich as Brussa was in natural products, the 
town was unable to supply many of the ordinary 
necessaries of life. Neither were there any schools 
for the children, nor technical institutions for the 
youths, nor a hospital. Such educational institu- 
tions as there were, were the strictly religious 
colleges of the Medresses, which produced the 
most intolerant order of students called Softas. 
A court of justice (Mehkeme) was presided over 
by a Kadi or Judge, who sat on a sheepskin and 
gave judgment in accordance Avith the tenets of 
the Koran. The Christian population had no part 
in the administration of justice, and in cases 
of litigation between Turks and Christians the 
Christians invariably got the worst of it, as no 
Christian evidence was accepted in the Mehkeme, 
but on the contrary was suppressed or replaced by 
the evidence of the Turkish false swearers. 

The Turks provided no means for the care of 
the sick ; they were stern fatalists, and were quite 
content to rely on the prayers, charms, and relics 

1 The loss of treasure by being turned into charcoal, unless 
some sacrifice is made to propitiate the Guardian Spirit, is a very 
prevalent idea all over the East. 


of their holy Sheiks, Mullahs, and Dervishes to 
kill or cure all their physical and mental ills. It 
was, I believe, subsequent to a report sent in by 
my father to Lord Stratford de RedclifFe, then 
ambassador at Constantinople, on the condition of 
Brussa, that a Commission was sent by the Sublime 
Porte, presumably to please His Excellency. The 
Commission was composed of a group of Italian 
architects who knew nothing of the country or of 
the language, and who arrived in considerable 
style, wearing black frock coats and top hats, a 
costume which had never before been seen in 
Brussa. The Commission made a tour of inspec- 
tion of the Turkish quarter in search of an adequate 
site for a hospital, and were much struck by the 
appearance of the main street, which was wide and 
clean and apparently deserted, and with plenty of 
space between the fine-looking konaks or mansions 
of the Turkish beys and hanoums. Well satisfied 
with one particular part for the erection of a 
hospital, they looked well all round, made notes 
and took measurements, and proceeded to plan out 
on the ground the area needed for the foundation 
of a big building. Little did the Commission 
suspect that they had chosen a place for the future 
hospital in the centre of a veritable beehive of 
enraged and alarmed Turkish hanoums, who 
watched all the proceedings from behind the 
jalousies of their windows, and were at a loss to 
guess why a group of men dressed in so strange 
and sombre a manner should by their unholy 
presence desecrate the privacy of their quarter. 
This unprecedented incident so keenly excited 
these ladies, who were ignorant of the cause for 


which the Commission had been appointed, and were 
determined to show their strong condemnation of 
proceedings they disapproved of, that they ordered 
their eunuchs to unlock their gates and accompany 
them to the konak of Fatima Kadin Effendi, the 
doyenne and defender of female rights and privileges. 
On being admitted to the presence of this grand 
old lady, and after salaaming and kissing her hand 
or the hem of her long train, they laid their 
grievances before her. "Yes," replied the old 
Kadin Effendi, after listening to all they had to 
say, " I too have watched the doings of the infidels, 
and though I have heard of the reason why they 
are here I await the return home of the Bey to see 
what he means to do in the matter. Should he 
refuse to act out of respect for the Governor's 
orders we must act for ourselves." "How can 
we," said another old lady. " Of course," answered 
the Kadin Effendi, "my son must demand satis- 
faction from the infidels for daring to defile the 
privacy and sanctity of our quarters by their un- 
called-for presence, and, at the same time, drive 
them out of the country for unlawfully trying to 
impose upon us, against the good will of Allah, 
preventive measures to stop sickness or any trials 
it may please him to inflict upon his chosen true- 
beloved Moslems. We can take this step in defiance 
of the new ideas of the Porte, and if need be, get 
the approval of our Kadi (judge) at the Mehkeme 
(court of justice), so prepare to follow my orders if 
necessary, not later than to-morrow afternoon. 
Get together a couple of hundred powerful women 
and, at an hour to be fixed later, let them enter the 
bazaar and go to the cafe where the infidels are in 


the habit of taking their coffee." As the ladies 
obtained no satisfaction from the Bey the plan was 
carried out, and the following afternoon the door 
of the cafe, where the members of the Com- 
mission were peacefully sipping coffee and smoking 
cigarettes, was suddenly flung open and an in- 
furiated group of veiled women, yellow slippers 
in hand, rushed in and pelted blows on the heads 
and faces of the amazed Italian architects. Out- 
numbered and taken at a great disadvantage the 
commissioners protected themselves by covering 
their heads with the stools they had recently been 
sitting on, and blinded such ladies as they could 
by putting their top hats completely over their 
heads. A regular pandemonium ensued and had 
reached its height when the door was once more 
flung open and Signor Fortunato, the self-appointed 
consul of all the Great Powers, appeared, accom- 
panied by a body of police, who promptly turned out 
the veiled ladies and released the commissioners. 

A few years subsequent to this battle of the 
yellow slippers some of the Great Powers followed 
the example of England in appointing consular 
agents at Brussa, chiefly with the object of 
opening the way for commercial interests with 
the interior of the country. This important step 
obliged the Turks to accept the inevitable and 
tolerate the presence of strangers in the land. It 
led to a few European families settling in the 
place, and a number of travellers visited Brussa 
and put a little more life into the neglected old 
capital. Among the visitors were a Russian 
Count and his wife, both very charming people, 
who were guests at the Russian Consulate ; and as 



my people were on intimate terms with the 
Russian Consul and his wife they saw a good 
deal of the Countess during the absence of her 
husband on a visit to Roumania. One evening 
when my three sisters were dining at the Russian 
Consulate the conversation turned on clairvoyance. 
The Countess asked my sister Nancy whether 
she would like to get a glimpse of what the 
future had in store for her. Full of the romantic 
ideas of sweet seventeen Nancy willingly accepted 
the invitation. She was seated in a chair placed 
in the usual way between two tables, on each 
of which was placed a mirror with candles, so 
that reflections were formed which simulated 
a long groove at the end of which there appeared 
to be a dark patch or disc. The room was 
darkened, and she was asked to sit down and 
fix her eyes and concentrate her thoughts. Later 
on she described to us that she noticed a faint 
mist which gradually cleared away, and a picture 
presented itself as taking place at the entrance 
hall of our home, where although she felt she was 
present yet as if the spirit and body were parted. 
A great crowd of visitors appeared to stand 
outside the door with sadness painted on every 
face, and looking at a table raised in the centre 
and covered with a black cloth on which a yellow 
cross was seen beneath a mass of flowers. A 
European with red hair and beard stood near 
the table bending over it with his hand supporting 
his head, and with tears streaming down through 
his fingers. None of the family were to be seen 
except my little brother Alfred, who appeared for 
a moment and was then lost in the mist which 


spread over the magic disc. The Countess was 
the only one who could have understood this 
strange vision, but she declared it meaningless and 
wished my sister better success another time. 
This vision was much discussed in the family, but 
no one guessed what was in store for us. But 
alas ! only a few months later, what had been 
considered a meaningless vision took the form of 
reality. My poor sister Nancy was one of the 
first victims of the epidemic of Asiatic cholera 
that dropped on the town of Brussa, much as 
many a bomb of the Huns has dropped on a 
"fortified village" in England, spreading death 
and destruction in every home it reached. In 
one night four of our servants were taken ill, and 
in the absence of medical care or any practical 
knowledge of treatment, died. The family, 
terrified by the calamity, were upstairs packing 
up in order to leave for the country next day. 
I was in my bed in the nursery when one of the 
native maids came to tell me that Marechon, the 
cook, was very ill. I, a little mite of five years 
old, ignorant of sickness or death, sat on her bed 
for a couple of hours and tried to help her. I 
well remember rubbing her cramped knees with 
an old stocking dipped in spirits. The poor 
creature asked me to get her some broth ; when 
I had procured it and had her head resting against 
my chest I put a spoonful of broth into her mouth 
when her jaws snapped in a convulsion, and no 
power of mine could get the spoon out from 
between her teeth. In ignorance of her having 
passed away I went upstairs to tell my sister Sophy, 
who, horrified at hearing what I had been doing, 


ordered me back to bed while she went to 
Marechon. This was my first acquaintance with 
grim death, but fuller knowledge soon followed. 
No sooner did we move into the country than 
the rest of the family, with the exception of my 
mother, Alfred, and myself were struck down by 
this terrible disease, and still no medical skill was 
available. Nancy was one of the next victims, 
and died after a very short illness. Matilda was 
in a most precarious condition. My father and 
my two other sisters were all for a time in a 
most critical state. My brave, active mother was 
distracted, for, where all needed her attention, it 
was difficult to know whom to attend to first. At 
the time of greatest anxiety Providence came to 
her aid, by the unexpected arrival of a clever 
Viennese doctor who, in a few hours, marvellously 
brought aid to this house full of dying patients, by 
administering to each a strong dose of laudanum, 
an unlimited number of little lumps of ice by the 
mouth, and by friction to the abdomen. I 
consider these details worth giving as they might 
be of service in an emergency. The dreadful 
results of the cholera visitation, so closely 
connected with my sister's strange vision and her 
sad end, obliges me to revert from one subject 
to another. My poor mother, while thankful 
for the recovery of all but one of her patients, 
was in great distress at the loss of her favourite 
daughter, and was unable to cope with the 
necessary arrangements for the funeral in Brussa. 
Providence again came to her aid by the arrival 
of an old friend who, on reaching Brussa and 
learning of the family's misfortunes, rode straight 


off to help her, and at once relieved her of all 
anxiety with regard to the funeral. This friend 
had red hair and a red beard, and those friends who 
attended the funeral bore witness to the fact that 
it was in every way a repetition of the vision my 
sister had had. 



After a series of somewhat monotonous years 
Brussa began to be more interesting, owing to 
the arrival of several groups of State prisoners 
from all parts of the Ottoman Empire. Some 
of these prisoners had been removed from their 
homes for the crime of protesting against the 
abuses of the Turkish Government, others, for 
daring to cast off the Moslem cloak with which, 
for a time, they had covered their Christian faith. 
There were also a number of political refugees as 
guests of the Sultan, chiefly Europeans. If I 
remember rightly, the first to arrive were some 
descendants of the family of Ali Pasha Tepeledin, 
that brigand adventurer who had come to the front 
in Albanian affairs at the close of the eighteenth 
century, and who by means of treachery and 
bribery had succeeded in obtaining the Pashalik 
(Governorship) of Janina from the Sultan. Ali 
Pasha Tepeledin had been beheaded in 1822 and 
his fortune, which was supposed to be enormous, 
is said to be buried deep in the sands of the river 
which flows by Janina. The children of Ali 
Pasha were reduced to penury and despair, and 
his son attempted suicide by swallowing a lot of 
arsenic. Regretting his action in time he is 


believed to have saved his life by half strangling 
himself in order to prevent the poison circulating 
in his system, and by swallowing the whites of 
eighty eggs ! 

Another State prisoner was Emir Bekir, a 
Kopt and a great Syrian chieftain. He was 
accompanied by his staff, which included an 
Archbishop who was both friend and father 
confessor. This was a very interesting set of 
people who appeared to have suffered much and 
who were full of dignity and Christian resignation. 
The Emir looked Hke an old saint with his snow- 
white hair and beard, and with a reverent aspect of 
true submission to all the decrees of Providence. 
His wife, a charming young woman full of life 
and intelligence, appeared to be the chief controller 
of the establishment, guided by the Archbishop, 
who was a man of the world, well versed in the 
intricacies of Eastern life. It was said that it 
was at the wish of his wife and of the Arch- 
bishop that the old Emir had decided openly to 
declare his old faith. His courageous wife had 
managed to get hold of the keys of the gaol and 
in the silence of the night had given freedom to 
one or two hundred members of the Kopt religion 
who were imprisoned on account of their adherence 
to their faith. Doubtless our ambassador must 
have protected the rights of these people, for 
previous to their arrival all the sacred ornaments 
and draperies of their chapel were sent under the 
care of the Consulate, and all the time they spent in 
the country their lovely little church, nestling in 
a verdant bower of the garden, was left unmolested 
by the Turks. They all looked so happy in the 


peaceful security granted them, and enjoyed the 
blessing of freedom which enabled them to carry out 
their religious duties, a condition so very different to 
what occurred daily to many Christians in Turkey. 
The famous Abd-el-Kader was a most fanatical 
Syrian chieftain who had fought against the 
French but was overcome and made a prisoner 
in the time of Napoleon III. Abd-el-Kader 
remained incarcerated in the Chateau d'Amboise 
for seven years, but was finally liberated by the 
Emperor and allowed to return to Turkey, where 
he was received as a guest of the Sultan and was 
given a fine konak (mansion) for himself and his 
family at Brussa next to our konak. This great 
Islamic Sheik of high religious repute among the 
followers of Islam was of delicate build, with 
regular features, curly red beard, and held himself 
with much oriental dignity, and was of a pleasing 
personality so that my mother had his name placed 
on her visiting list. His harem, however, was in 
marked contrast to himself. His chief wife looked 
a common woman, void of style or dignity. Abd-el- 
Kader's state apartment appeared to be the only 
decent place in the house. A Turkish sofa went all 
round the room. The w^alls were adorned by a single 
picture, a fine life-sized portrait of the Emperor 
Napoleon, which Abd-el-Kader pointed out to 
his guests with pride as a parting gift from His 
Majesty so long as there were any French officers 
in Brussa. No sooner, however, had the latter left 
the town than the face of the portrait was turned 
to the wall as evidently objectionable to his sight ! 
Abd-el-Kader had a young nephew, Sidi Allal, 
who had adopted French manners, and though 


handsomely dressed in the rich Syrian costume, 
also wore elegant French top-boots, which gave 
him a quaint appearance. He spoke some French 
and wrote bad verses, but was a very good dancer, 
an art he must have learnt in France where he 
had accompanied his uncle. He appeared greatly 
to enjoy this innocent pleasure at the small dances 
at the Consulate, but on his last visit he appeared 
in stockings only. As he was rather a friend of 
mine I at once went up to him and asked him 
whether he expected anyone to dance with a shoeless 
partner. '' Que voulez-vous, Mademoiselle ? " said he, 
almost with tears in his eyes, "my devout uncle 
has forbidden me to indulge in simple practices of 
this kind, and in order to save me from further 
temptation has had all my boots and shoes locked 
up." Poor Sidi AllaFs punishment for his attempt 
at emancipation did not end there. A few days 
later he met my sisters going out for a ride and 
joined the party. Unfortunately on returning home 
they came face to face with Abd-el-Kader, who was 
on his way to the Mosque, and though Abd-el-Kader 
at once turned his face to the wall and stood there 
till the riding party had passed, yet he detected his 
nephew's presence in my sisters' company. The 
unfortunate youth was at once sent to the local 
gaol, where he had to stop for a week in filthy 
surroundings and in the company of the worst 
criminals. Incidents of this kind are common 
in the Islamic world leading to unfavourable 
comparisons between Christians and Moslems, the 
former so amenable to the influences of humanity 
and civilisation, the latter kept apart from both, 
owing to the intolerance of their religious dogmas, 


which will never permit of an entente cordiale 
between the two races. 

The following is another sketch of oriental life 
with some variations. Some highly educated 
Persian royalties, refugees in Turkey, had been 
offered the hospitality of the old capital by the 
Sultan. Prince Couli Mirza was said to have 
been a pensioner of England, the other prince 
whose name I forget was dependent on Russia's 
bounty. The third personage, a fairy-looking 
young princess, was the daughter of the Shah of 
Persia and the wife of Prince Couli, her cousin, 
with whom she had eloped. Besides her own 
retinue there were forty Persian youths who were 
supposed to be the sons of the princes. My 
mother called on the Princess and was charmed 
by her beauty and elegance and the distinction 
of her manners, as well as deeply interested in 
the account of the adventures of the whole 
group of persons making up their establishment, 
in their endeavour to avoid being caught by 
the pursuing force which followed close on their 
heels as far as the frontier. On returning the call 
the Princess asked us all to luncheon for the 
following day. Owing to the novelty of the 
invitation I looked forward to it with great childish 
delight. The Prince received us in the selamlik 
(the men's apartments), and led us in state through 
the mabhin or corridor leading to the ladies' 
apartments, between a line of forty handsome 
Persian youths, all salaaming as Vv^e passed. The 
Princess, surrounded by a group of her ladies, all 
young, pretty, and richly dressed in their lovely 
court costumes, formed, in spite of the shabbiness 


of their surroundings, a picture I shall never 
forget. Some years later I managed to make 
myself a copy of one of those lovely costumes and 
wore it at a fancy dress ball at the Austrian 
Embassy at Constantinople. Luncheon being 
served, half a dozen girls bearing pretty silver 
basins and jugs, and holding embroidered towels, 
invited us to wash our hands before sitting down 
on cushions on the floor round a big silver tray 
which rested on a low stool. In the centre of the 
tray as piece de resistance was a silver bowl 
containing rice, deliciously cooked, Persian fashion, 
surrounded by several smaller plates containing 
a variety of dainties. A long, beautifully em- 
broidered scarf surrounded the tray and rested on 
our laps instead of table napkins. A piece of 
bread and a spoon in front of each person 
completed the arrangements of the table. The 
Princess placed my mother on her right side and 
extended her long, white fingers towards the bowl 
in the centre of the tray, took a handful of rice, 
rolled it into a ball, and making a hole in the centre 
with her thumb filled it up with a few trifles from 
the side dishes and held it up to my mother's mouth 
as her honoured guest. The rest of our party had 
to help themselves in the same way as best they 
could, but when it came to my turn to my dismay 
I found it impossible to manipulate the rice ball 
into its proper shape, or to convey it safely to 
my mouth. The Princess, much amused at my 
disappointed face, asked me to use the spoon which 
had been provided for me. After that, no one 
enjoyed the luncheon more than I did. There is 
a considerable amount of resemblance between the 


Turks and Persians in their customs and manners, 
doubtless owing to the sameness of their creed. 
Were it not for one or two tenets there might be 
considerable friendship and sympathy between 
them, but these tenets keep them much apart. 
I believe the Persians must be more amenable to 
the influence of modern civilisation than the 
Turks. Our friends did not make a long stay in 
Brussa, and doubtless England had something to 
do with their speedy return to their own country. 
A few persons who were of European renown in 
my young days, but are now all forgotten, as they 
are either dead or have given place to others in 
the various aspirations and objects which forced 
them to leave home and country, came to 
Brussa. Among the interesting persons who 
arrived, subsequent to the sauve qui pent which 
followed the defeat of the Hungarians under 
General Kossuth by the Austrians, were General 
Kossuth and his family. Count and Countess 
Batthyany, General and Madame de Denbinski, and 
several others. Short as their stay at Brussa was 
we saw a good deal of them, previous to their 
departure, under the pressure of Austria, further 
into the interior of Asia Minor. Madame Kossuth 
had a little girl of my own age and I was often 
asked to spend the day with her. She was not 
very entertaining, but I was deeply interested in 
watching the ways and manners of these great 
people in their home life, ways and manners which 
did not come up to the standard I expected of 
persons in such exalted rank and position. At 
meals, for instance, I noticed the General used his 
fingers in preference to knife and fork, but in spite 


of such failings in refinement he was a man of 
great personahty and well worth listening to when 
he became animated and talked with his generals. 
Madame Kossuth, a homely looking person, hardly 
took part in the long discussions that daily followed 
meals. Count and Countess Batthyany, as well as 
some of the generals, struck me as being dis- 
tinguished people with fine military appearance and 
courteous manners. They were all glad enough to 
leave Kutaya after some months' stay and return 
to the civilised world again. Those times were not 
wanting in revolutionary agitations, which in some 
cases ended in partial successes as in Roumania and 
Greece. The latter, after terrible sacrifices and 
superhuman efforts which had started in 1821, 
ended by obtaining her liberty and independence. 
This great event enters within the boundaries of 
my reminiscences as, rather later, when still a little 
girl, I became a great favourite of the celebrated 
Grisioti Andarti, who was one of the chief Greek 
rebels on Turkish soil, where he had lost everything 
but his life. He subsequently took to the 
mountains with his followers, killing as many 
Turks as he could, and living on what he and his 
men could find as free looters. In one of these 
encounters one of his arms was severely injured and 
partially severed below the elbow. He managed 
to escape and reach one of his dens in safety when, 
cutting off the injured part he plunged the stump 
into boiling tar which cauterised the wound and 
saved his life. Grisioti was a big, handsome 
man with a Roman (prominent) chest, and an 
intelligent, expressive face which greatly added to 
the interest I took in him. I first saw him as 



one of the Sultan's pardoned prisoners sent to 
live at large in Brussa. An A.D.C. and one or 
two followers were allowed to accompany him. 
These latter often spoke of the tragic details 
of the war, and all my admiration and sympathy 
were roused on behalf of the heroes who had 
fought and suffered for the independence of 
Greece. The old Grisioti Andarti gave us a 
picnic on the heights of Mount Olympus which 
was to resemble as far as possible one of his old 
haunts in the wilds of Thessaly or Macedonia. A 
picturesque grotto embedded in creepers was fixed 
on as the place of meeting. As our party 
approached we were met by one of the chieftain's 
palikaris (followers) who, saluting, offered to show 
us the way. Presently we came face to face with 
the grotto, when suddenly out sprang the chieftain 
with a dozen followers, all armed to the teeth as if 
ready for action. Looking round on all of us he said, 
" Callos oriste," " You are welcome," and ordered 
his men to take charge of our horses. Grisioti 
then took me by the hand, and as we stood a little 
in advance of the rest of the party said, ** Little 
girl, for this occasion I appoint you my chief. 
You will find my gallant followers ready to obey 
your orders, and in case any of our prisoners refuse 
to hand over their purses you must decide whether 
it will be their noses or their ears that will have to 
be cut off." Horrified and alarmed at such a 
suggestion I drew away my hand, saying, " I took 
you for a good man and a great hero who had 
promised us the enjoyment of eating a lamb 
cooked cleft fashion, instead of which you want to 
cut off the ears and noses of my people." "Well, 


little girl," said he, with a hearty laugh, " those are 
the laws of our ' order,' but since you disapprove 
we will give them a free pardon and presently, 
after everyone has been made comfortable, you 
shall come with me and see how the lamb is to be 
cooked cleft fashion for our dinner." As good as 
his word, the old chieftain showed me what I have 
never forgotten, any more than I have forgotten the 
fun and delight of that picnic. Little did I dream 
at the time that later in life I should have to 
experience in reality what was then being acted in 

My father always did his best to help and 
protect the various sets of refugees who came 
to Brussa, and their frequent comings to the 
Consulate did me much good service, for as a 
child I got to know people of various nations very 
well, and learnt all about their countries, their 
sorrows as well as their patriotic hopes and 
aspirations, and this knowledge enabled me to be 
of much service to my husband in later years. I 
well remember, for instance, that a set of Bosnian 
gentlemen (Christians) were sent to Brussa as 
prisoners at large. They were well-developed, 
handsome people, and I came to the conclusion 
then, and this opinion was confirmed when I came 
across Bosnians years afterwards, that they were 
the finest race in the Balkan States. They had an 
air of independence and a personality that was 
both charming and courteous. They were a 
population absolutely separate from the Turks and 
yet living amongst the Turks, and the Turks 
appeared more tolerant of them than of many of 
their Christian neighbours. The young Bosnian 


women had much more liberty than most women 
of the Near East, even going to the length of 
choosing their husbands with whom they some- 
times eloped. A custom of theirs at the birth of 
a child was for all the inmates of the house to 
leave it, with the exception of a very young girl 
who, so soon as the baby was born, ran to tell 
the waiting relations of the advent of the little 
stranger. For her good news the girl acquired 
certain privileges which brought her into close 
contact with the family. I do not know if many 
of these old customs still exist. Doubtless the 
Austrian occupation of Bosnia altered to some 
extent many of these quaint old customs of the 
people, but I believe neither Turks nor Christians 
felt happy under the control of a State which was 
largely dominated and crippled in its action by the 
silent but most powerful influence of the Jesuit 
orders then resident in Austria. About the time 
of which I am writing a fine school for girls was 
opened by Miss Irby and Miss MacKenzie which, 
I understood, did much good work. 

The Roumanian political guests of the Sultan 
consisted of a prince, one or two statesmen, some 
distinguished artists, and one or two ladies. This 
group of guests had been educated in France, 
and were full of patriotic zeal and liberal ideas, 
and longed for the opportunity to put into practice 
in their own country much of the knowledge 
which they had acquired in France. I well 
remember an old Roumanian friend of those 
bygone days who had fought for the same 
cause the Roumanians are fighting for to-day, 
who often used to repeat in a rich, sonorous 


voice, **Dieu, Liberie, Patrie." This group of 
people were cordially received at the Consulate 
by my parents, and my grown-up sisters had much 
pleasure in the society of the younger members 
of the party. I was rather an enfant terrible at 
that time, and well remember how one day, when 
running about the garden with my butterfly net, 
I came across one of my sisters and one of the 
young Roumanians looking at some object that 
was interesting them both as their heads were 
rather close together. I caught them in my net, 
much to the indignation of my sister, who boxed 
my ears for me, but her companion brought me a 
big box of chocolates next day ! After staying 
in Brussa about a year the greater number of the 
elder members of the party left, whilst a group of 
the younger men remained to construct a very 
fine road between Brussa and Moudania. Doubt- 
less many of our friends eventually returned to 
Roumania, where, under the able control of Prince 
Charles, they would have plenty of opportunities 
of helping their country. 

During the Turco - Russian War of 1877 a 
secret convention was entered into by Roumania 
to tender help to Russia. Owing to the energy 
of Prince Charles of Roumania and his small 
army of about 35,000 men, the famous Graveio 
redoubt, the strongest fort for the defence of Plevna, 
was taken. The Russians were delighted at this 
unlooked-for strength of the small Roumanian force, 
and the Roumanians were pleased since it freed 
them from the nominal protectorate of Turkey. 
My husband followed this war on the side of the 
Turks, and greatly admired the bravery, tact, and 


savoir faire of Prince Charles's men. He felt that 
if the Pashas of the Turkish Army, Osman Pasha 
and Raouf Pasha, had been granted free hands in 
this war, Turkey would have come out of it 
much better than she did. Raouf Pasha was an 
intimate friend of mine and was one of the wit- 
nesses at my marriage. I saw him last some time 
after the war when I stopped a night at his konak. 
One among many of the interesting details of 
the Turco- Russian War he related to me was 
when he and the Grand Duke were settling the 
Articles of Peace between the two governments. 
They were in accord up to a certain point, when 
suddenly the Grand Duke turned to Raouf Pasha 
and asked him to issue an order allowing six or 
seven hundred of his soldiers to visit the Mosque 
of St Sophia daily. Raouf, horrified at the 
request, said that it would be impossible to give 
such an order, since the worshippers at the Mosque 
had services of prayer five times a day and the 
presence of infidels would lead to a revolution in 
Constantinople. The Grand Duke, having by 
this request let the long wished-for Russian 
ambition to see St Sophia once more a place of 
Christian worship be known, pressed the matter 
no further, but patting Raouf Pasha on the 
shoulder smiled and said, ** Et quand meme, mon 
cher, cela viendra, et je desire que nos braves 
soldats apprennent le chemin de la Mosque." Is this 
wish of the Grand Duke nearer realisation to-day ? 



Two terrible eatastrophies must next be recorded 
in my memoirs — the Crimean War and the great 
earthquake which visited Brussa and almost 
annihilated it. 

The Crimean War was felt indirectly at Brussa, 
since it was a place of interest to the Turks and 
their allies as a recruiting and provisioning station. 
Commercial travellers, contractors, and speculators 
began to crowd in. It caused us no small pleasure 
to see some of our brave soldiers on leave from 
the Crimea, full of news of the war in which we 
were so deeply interested. Compared to the 
present abominable war the Crimean War appears 
to my memory to have been merely child's play. 
The Turks were much behind European nations 
in the art of war, and were unprepared in every 
way to meet the heavy demands of so great an 
enterprise. As for Turkish soldiers, ever ready 
to answer the call to arms, they too lacked much 
that was needful, and had no experienced officers 
as the following story shows. A Pasha in high 
command had a clever Polish officer, an engineer, 
to assist him. On one occasion the troops were 
in a place that was strategically bad and likely 



to be unhealthy should wet weather prevail. The 
Polish officer brought to his chief a map of the 
district and pointed out a position that would be 
better strategically and good should there be 
much rain. The Pasha despised the map which 
he was unable to understand, and said, "I must 
consult the shepherd of the goats of this locality 
as to what the weather will be." The shepherd 
on being summoned to give his opinion asked for 
a few minutes' grace in order that he might go 
and see his herd, and returned saying : "I have 
just inspected my herd of goats and find all their 
tails up. Sure sign of fine weather." "There," 
exclaimed the Pasha, "the camp shall remain 
where it is " ; and it did remain there, with 
disastrous results to the health of the troops. 
According to stories current at the time, the 
Russians were no better prepared, part of their 
army being furnished with " show " arms made of 
wood in place of genuine rifles and swords. 

There were also errors on the part of the 
English, owing chiefly to the want of proper 
organisation, which led to the sacrifice of many 
of our gallant soldiers. Large numbers of men 
became victims of the great cholera^ epidemic. 
Unlike the present time there were not sufficient 
means or knowledge either to relieve the suffering 
or to stem the course of the disease. Many of the 
officers and men who suffered from rheumatism, 
due to the exposure they had experienced during 
the bitter weather of the winter in the Crimea, 
found their way to Brussa, where they were 
greatly benefited by the quality and variety 
of the mineral springs that are situated some 


few miles from the town. These springs had 
been made use of by the natives of Asia Minor 
from time immemorial, and during the Roman 
occupation magnificent baths had been built round 
the sources of the different waters. These baths 
were situated in the vicinity of a splendid mosque, 
and were apparently of indestructible solidity since 
they had withstood the ravages of time and miracu- 
lously escaped both Ottoman destruction and the 
earthquake. At Kucutlu there was a sulphur bath 
which was curiously constructed, but the details 
of which I regret I do not understand sufficiently 
to make clear to my readers. I can only describe 
it as I know it. There was a round marble swim- 
ming-bath some five or six feet deep, with foot- wide 
steps ranged round from the brim to the bottom. 
This large basin was of course full of water, and its 
edge was on a level with the marble floor of the 
bath-house, and at a good distance from the walls 
of the building which supported a dome the size of 
the round swimming-bath. It is possible to walk 
beneath the bath, when one sees that the basin-like 
portion is apparently held up by nothing, but it must 
of course be suspended from the edges of the bath- 
house floor. This under part is well worth a visit. 
The natives have no knowledge about it, and as it 
is rarely shown to visitors few people know of its 
curious construction. The iron and alkaline baths, 
equally strongly built in white marble but on a 
smaller scale, are most efficacious in their healing 
qualities. We used to spend a few weeks every 
autumn at this lovely watering-place, which had 
formerly been a favourite resort but which at the 
time I knew it, was reduced to a poor Turkish 


village. There were a few indifferent places one 
could stay in, consisting of three to five mean 
unfurnished rooms, but with a wide verandah 
overlooking the rich country below, and with 
glorious views of the hills above. These hills 
were green and cool owing to the rich orchards 
containing every variety of pear, peach, and plum 
tree, as well as magnificent chestnut and walnut 
trees. The verandah, the views, the baths, and 
the fruit more than compensated for the poor 
accommodation. The bathers could roam at will 
in the orchards, and for a few pence to the 
tattered guardians could eat or carry away as 
much fruit as they liked. A perfect paradise 
for a party of young people as we were then. It 
is so long since I left Brussa that I do not 
know what condition Kucutlu is in now, but 
owing to the exodus of many wealthy Turkish 
families from Constantinople who have settled 
there within the last few years the place is 
probably much improved. Strange to say none of 
these baths were hurt by the terrific earthquake 
which took place during the early part of the 
Crimean War, and which shook the town to its 
very foundations and destroyed most of the 
buildings, and seriously damaged others such as 
ours, which were built of wood. The earthquake 
came with startling unexpectedness. We all, 
except my father, were in the sitting-room upstairs. 
I remember that, impecunious as usual, I was 
trying to raise some money by a sale of nick- 
nacks I had made. It was early in the afternoon 
when we noticed a jet black cloud on the horizon, 
and gradually the room became dark as I was 


trying to pass off to my sister Matilda a faded 
book-mark. In addition to the terrifying darkness 
so alien to our usual brilliant sunshine, a stifling 
odour of sulphur reached us from the outside. At 
the moment when we were half suffocated and 
ignorant of the cause of this extraordinary con- 
dition of things there came the first violent shock 
which knocked us all down. This was followed 
by a succession of equally strong shakings. By 
the time we reached the door we found that the 
windows of our exceptionally large hall, and in fact 
the hundred windows of the whole konak (mansion) 
were cracking in consequence of the bending of 
the frames, and the glass was being scattered in 
all directions. The whole house shook and we 
feared its immediate collapse. We rushed to the 
staircase and clinging tightly to the balustrade 
we reached the ground-floor and ran into the 
middle of the garden for temporary safety. The 
shock continued, and in addition to the terror 
caused by the blackness of the heavens the walls 
of the garden fell, and clouds of dust were raised and 
added to our discomfort. It was altogether a most 
horrible, unforgettable calamity which destroyed 
half the town. A silk factory built on a soft 
stone rock came crashing down, and some three 
hundred young Greek girls who worked in it were 
either killed or severely injured. It was heart- 
rending to hear the moans and cries of some of the 
injured survivors caught beneath the debris, who 
were unable to be rescued in time. Our troubles 
were not ended with this terrific experience for 
the shocks, some quite slight, others more severe, 
continued for forty days and nights, an interminable 


time so it seemed to us. We slept either in tents 
or just at the entrance of the hall ; but if in this 
latter place we often had to rise hurriedly from our 
beds in the middle of the night and rush into the 
garden. The effects of this disturbed life soon 
began to tell upon some of us, and after the fortieth 
night on which the great perpendicular shock was 
experienced which did so much harm, we were 
thankful that the Ambassador, Lord Stratford de 
RedclifFe, sent to take us to Constantinople. I 
need not say with what joy we left the ill-fated 
town during a shock of lesser severity, but which 
terrified our horses who neighed and stood with 
their legs stretched well apart and rigid till the 
shock was over. I thought my heart would break 
with joy when next morning, on reaching the port of 
Moudania, we first caught sight of a British man- 
of-war. It was with great delight that we enjoyed 
the welcome which the captain and officers gave 
to us and to the few ladies, friends from Brussa, 
who accompanied us. My father, unfortunately 
for us, remained behind, faithful to his post. 

Everything appeared to me like a fairy dream 
after all the experiences of the last six weeks. I had 
been greatly terrified during the last shock before 
we left Brussa, as I had found myself a prisoner in 
the dining-room owing to the door being jammed, 
and although I threw myself out of a window 
into the garden, the fear I had experienced for a 
few moments when I thought I should have been 
buried alive remained with me for some time. 
However, such experiences in youth are not very 
lasting ; the entire change of scene and life on 
board doubtless did much to quickly lessen the 


memories of recent terrors. After eating an 
excellent dinner with which our good hosts regaled 
us, we all went to our cabins so kindly offered to 
us by the officers, who contented themselves with 
a blanket and a pillow on the benches of the ward- 
room. In my youthful selfishness I gave little 
thought to their discomfort, and getting into my 
nightdress with my hair down my back I got into 
my cosy little berth and soon fell fast asleep, but 
alas ! having had so many recent experiences of 
disturbed nights owing to shocks and the need for 
jumping up quickly when unexpectedly awakened, 
I had a most ridiculous adventure. Some sudden 
movement of the ship must have disturbed me, and 
in a half- awake condition I jumped out of the 
berth, opened the door of the cabin and rushed 
into the ward -room, where I stood in the centre 
like a ghost in distress, gazed upon by half a dozen 
young officers. Wide awake now, and realising 
my ridiculous position, I covered my face with my 
hands and rushed back to my cabin horrified at 
my silly action ; but, tired as I was, I tied my feet 
together with my handkerchief before I got into 
bed for fear of again being disturbed and rushing 
out once more. Next morning I was on deck 
early and watched the rising sun dart its fiery rays 
through the clouds flitting over the Golden Horn 
and on the solitary Byzantine palace mirrored in 
the calm waters of the Bosphorus. This palace was 
one of the very few that had escaped the ravages 
of the Turkish conquest. A few years later it was 
burnt to the ground, an incendiary act on the part 
of its inhabitants, the hanoums of the late 
lamented Sultan Medjid. In this palace or harem 


lived several hundreds of old and young beauties, 
Kadin efFendis, sultanas, odalisks, and slaves, who 
had been turned out of the Imperial Palace to be 
shut up within its solid walls. Justly resenting 
their monotonous lives they set fire to the 
building hoping to gain their liberty in the sauve 
qui peut that followed. But to go back to my 
own concerns. On hearing the breakfast bell I 
went below with rather a shamefaced look and 
took my seat at table, hoping my night's adventure 
might be attributed to somnambulism. However, 
no one made any remark about it. After break- 
fast we thanked the captain and officers for their 
kindness to us, and were then rowed ashore in one 
of the big boats and landed at the Tower of Galata, 
a filthy-looking place of business, crowded by 
Armenian porters who, as they saw us land, rushed 
in a body, fighting amongst themselves as to who 
could first get hold of our luggage. We mounted 
the two or three hundred steps of the dirty, ill- 
paved ascent to Pera, the European quarter, 
and reached the Grande Rue de Pera, a dirty 
neglected thoroughfare where numerous street 
dogs, the only scavengers of the place, were at 
work. We went to Messiri's Hotel, the only 
hotel that was then in existence I think. We 
stayed there but a short time, as the beautiful view 
of the opposite shore of the Bosphorus decided us 
to take up our quarters at Kadi Kieu, an old 
Turkish village, the right extremity of which 
was fast becoming a European resort. We chose 
for our home an old Turkish konak (mansion) 
on the Scutari side of the village, where the 
British Army was quartered. It was a pretty 


house with a fine verandah overlooking the main 
road which skirted the seashore. We soon made 
a number of pleasant acquaintances among English 
people, and for the first time I began to realise 
the soundness, charm, and delicacy of English 

That short time during the Crimean War was 
one of the happiest periods of my young days, 
every hour of which I enjoyed. In spite of my 
being still considered a child, I learnt much that 
served me later on. I was allowed to go to balls 
owing to the scarcity of English girls, and well 
remember the first one I went to. I had many 
partners, and inadvertently engaged myself to 
several at once for one of the dances late on in 
the programme. When the dance began my 
numerous partners all came to claim it, and I was 
in much perplexity to know what to do. My 
sister, who saw I was in some difficulty, came 
across the room to me, and apologised for 
anything I might have done amiss as this was 
my first ball. I hastily made a knot low down in 
one of the corners of my pocket handkerchief, 
and crumpling the whole thing in my hand 
except for the four free corners, said, "Whoever 
chooses the corner with the knot shall be my 
partner." These balls were given by the various 
Embassies in honour of the English and other 
foreigners, and were a great success, owing to 
the number of officers, the variety of uniforms, 
and the efforts made by the Levantine ladies to 
excel each other in their efforts to please. I 
heard a French ambassador say that the best 
company at Constantinople was the Greek, but 


unfortunately the men did not come up to the 
mark. Of course no Turkish ladies appeared at 
these entertainments, and practically no Turks, 
except a few who held high official positions. 
Constantinople in those days was little known in 
England or the rest of Europe, yet it did not 
lack in interest and amusement to most of the 
visitors. Among the latter was H.R.H. the 
Duke of Cambridge, who after a short stay went 
to Circassia on an anti-slavery mission with my 
brother-in-law, Mr Longworth, and my brother 
Alfred. The latter, though quite a young boy, 
was very useful owing to his knowledge of 
languages. His Royal Highness wished to place 
before the people the desirability of putting an 
end to slavery, and, since it was the women who 
were said to be those who played the chief part 
in maintaining this odious custom, it was deemed 
wise to try and obtain their favour by giving 
them presents that would appeal to their taste 
for finery. The bazaar of Stamboul was ransacked 
for stuffs suitable to the taste of these ladies, and 
numerous boxes of rahat lokoum (Turkish delight) 
were added to the attractive stores. The mission 
naturally caused a good deal of sensation, and the 
invitation of His Royal Highness to the women 
to attend a meeting, was accepted by them after 
a certain amount of deliberation. 

Mr Longworth and my brother, under the 
Duke's instructions, made a good display of the 
fineries by spreading out the multi-coloured stuffs 
which had been bought, and endeavoured to 
make them more attractive in the eyes of the 
audience by distributing amongst them the boxes 


of rahat lokoum, in the hope that these presents 
would more readily induce the women to give 
the needed anti-slavery votes. The Duke began 
his address by making a graceful appeal to the 
ladies for their assistance, to help his country 
and its great Queen in the efforts they were 
making to put down slavery, that cruel and 
inhuman custom so ruinous to the happiness of 
the children, and so painful to their parents. 
When the Duke's feeling speech came to an end, 
the elderly matrons with one voice asked the 
interpreter what the great English lord had said, 
and on being informed they started up like a set 
of demented furies, crying out, *' How dares this 
great lord come to our country with the object of 
preventing our children from getting, through 
the assistance of the slave dealer and the market 
of Stamboul, the possibility, if their kismet 
(fate) wills it, of becoming raised to the rank 
of sultana. We will have none of these measures 
in our country any more than we will have his 
tempting gifts." Suiting their action to their 
word they pelted the astonished Duke and his 
party with the scarves and the rest of the fineries, 
while the boxes of rahat lokoum rolled on the 
floor. The mission having thus signally failed, 
the members beat a hasty retreat. But it was 
far from being fruitless, for from that time the 
persistent pressure of England caused the gradual 
disappearance of slavery in Turkey. Wherever 
there was a British Consulate and a slave desired 
his or her liberty, they had only to enter the 
gates of the Consulate, for the Consul had it in 
his power to get their release from the authorities. 


In Salonika, for instance, my husband obtained 
the liberty of about a hundred slaves, chiefly 
blacks ; to be rewarded for his good action by 
being named Baba (father) by this wretched 
community. It is doubtful, however, whether 
this humane measure of giving them their liberty 
is really likely to benefit them. So long as the 
Turks are allowed to continue their fanatical 
massacres of their Christian subjects, prisoners 
will be taken, and to be a prisoner is worse than 
to be a slave. An owner cares for and protects, 
at any rate to some extent, a slave for whom he 
has paid. He treats with cruelty the Christian 
prisoner he despises and who has cost him 

Although during the Crimean War the Turks 
were expected to be fanatically disposed towards 
the Europeans, and though the enemy almost 
reached the gates of the capital, yet nothing of an 
alarming nature happened beyond a few incidents 
of a personal nature. In one of these cases my 
brother and my sister Matilda having failed to 
receive in time an order from the Embassy to 
abstain from assisting at a great Turkish cere- 
monial close to the Imperial Palace, ventured in 
that direction expecting to find us with a big party 
as had been prearranged. As Alfred and Matilda 
neared the palace the crowd became dense and they 
sat down on two chairs at the side of the street, 
without realising that they had fallen into the 
midst of a crowd of Softas who were a most 
fanatical order, and who closely surrounded them 
and violently threatened to murder them then and 
there. A fierce-looking nigger with dagger in 


hand called out, " Shall I strike ? Shall I strike ? " 
when, providentially, a Turkish officer came to their 
rescue and led them to the nearest haven of safety. 
This happened to be the kitchen of the Imperial 
Palace where they were confided to the care of 
the chef, who gave them hospitality in his private 
apartment, and a choice lunch from His Imperial 
Majesty's table ! When the crowd had begun 
to disperse a bodyguard of half a dozen kitchen 
boys, in red aprons and with bare arms, led the 
two chance adventurers into a safer part of the 
town. As a rule, however, though we, with other 
friends, often roamed over the bazaars we rarely 
had any reason to complain of acts of rudeness on 
the part of the populace. Often dear old Captain 
Borliss, the guardian of all the pretty young wives 
of the naval officers, took parties about the streets, 
and though he often felt anxious for the members 
of his parties, yet fortunately nothing untoward 
ever happened. Our soldiers walked freely about 
and attracted a good deal of attention. The 
Scottish Regiments were named ''donsous" or 
" the breechless " by the Turkish ladies, whilst the 
Albanians proudly said that the kilt was a copy 
of their own *'foustanelas." The Crimean War 
was begun and ended on an honourable basis, free 
from disgrace or remorse on either side of the 
belligerents. Fortunately for the brave generation 
that fought its battles, " German culture " was still 
in the nursery rearing and developing the monsters 
she has produced, bent on the destruction of the 
nations she has failed to conquer or beguile. 
How deeply must Turkey and her associates 
in misfortune bewail their connection in this 


murderous war, out of which they well know 
they have nothing to gain either in material profit 
or in the esteem and sympathy of the rest of the 
world. Turkey is doomed and she deserves to be 
left " chiplac " (naked), as prophesied by the late 
Sultan Abdul Aziz who hearing, whilst in his bath, 
of the birth of his son and heir said, " The country 
under his reign will be reduced to the nakedness 
I find myself in when hearing of the news of his 
birth. All will go." 

But what about fair old Greece and her brave 
sons brought to death's door by her erring king, 
who has been an enemy to his own country while 
earning the smiles and favours of the Kaiser. It 
is to be hoped that with the help of Providence 
and the patriotic efforts of M. Venizelos, justly 
named the " Saviour " of his country, that all will 
be well. To go back to the Crimean War. At 
its termination all the foreign forces began to take 
their departure from Constantinople leaving behind 
a dull monotony difficult to put up with even for 
those accustomed to live in Eastern countries 
where, socially speaking, the Government counts 
for nothing, and where the brighter and better half 
of the population is kept under lock and key. We 
were much pressed by our departing friends to leave 
for England too, and my mother decided not to lose 
the opportunity of travelling with friends, particu- 
larly as she wished to go to England then in order 
to be present at the wedding of my sister Matilda 
with Mr George Ricketts, a bright young officer 
of the 5th Dragoon Guards. At the same time 
mother thought my brother and I might take up 
our neglected studies better in England than else- 


where. We both spent the two years we had in 
London more profitably than in book work, by 
seeing all we could of the marvels* of that huge 
metropolis, for it is not possible to spend some 
time in the dear old country, breathe its pure 
healthy air, study its system, its organisation and 
gr,eatness without learning a good deal that serves 
in later life. On our return to Brussa after our 
delightful two years in England our party was 
reduced to three, i.e., my mother, my brother, and 
myself. I shall never forget the storm we ex- 
perienced in the Atlantic. For three days and 
nights there were no fires in the engine-rooms. 
My cabin had a foot of water in it and yet I never 
got seasick or nervous, nor did I cease begging 
our kind captain to let me go on deck to watch the 
grand effects of the terrific storm. He consented 
at last, and at my request roped me to the great 
mast where I thought I should be perfectly secure. 
However, when the sudden impact of a huge Avave 
carried off one of the long benches, the captain 
enveloped in his oilskins crouched by my side and 
asked me if I had not had enough. Before I could 
answer a terrific gust of wind struck the mast and 
broke it and the upper part fell crashing on to the 
deck. Fortunately neither of us was hurt, but I 
thought it was time for me to go below. As the 
weather calmed down the passengers began to show 
themselves at breakfast and on deck looking very 
green and seedy. Among the passengers were an 
English lady and her young and pretty daughter 
who soon became great friends with three English- 
men, well dressed and good looking. Somehow, 
my brother and I did not care to make their 



acquaintance, nor did we join with them in a 
photographic group in which the English lady 
and her daughter took part. Later on, the latter, 
when dining at the Embassy at Constantinople 
came across, much to their discomfort, their late 
friends who served them at table with grace and 
savoir faire I 

My brother and I were full of regret at having 
to leave England and return to Brussa, in spite of 
my dear mother's cheering encouragement that 
"tout vient a temps a qui sait attendre." Un- 
fortunately young people are not always endowed 
with patience, and we felt ours would quickly 
vanish if we were destined to rusticate in Brussa 
without even the chance of making a stay in 
Constantinople. My father was very glad to have 
us back and so was our favourite Uncle John, 
known all over the country as ** Chelebi John " 
(Gentleman John). Fortunately the country had 
not lost its old charm for us, especially for my 
brother, who became a great sportsman and settled 
down on my uncle's farm, where he had plenty to 
occupy his time and to interest him. It was a grand 
place for big game before a huge fire, which lasted 
for forty days, broke out and partially destroyed 
the forests. The fire started on the eastern side 
and gradually worked its destructive way in the 
direction of Brussa. It was a glorious sight to 
watch those grand old trees blazing away. As 
the fire approached the town the Armenian com- 
munity came to the Consulate in a body to beg 
for help, as their quarter would have been the first 
to be burnt had the fire spread so far. My father 
naturally applied to the Pasha, who, twisting and 


turning his hands in real distress, said, " What can 
I do, Consoles Bey, what can arrest such a scourge 
if it please Allah to inflict it upon the country." 
My father persuaded the Pasha that the fire was 
not Allah's work but the charcoal burners' neglect, 
and that it could easily be stopped from reaching 
the town if he would get half the men of the place 
out to cut down the trees and leave a large bare 
space between the blazing forest and the Armenian 
quarter. The advice was taken in time, and Brussa 
was saved from a second calamity which, in its 
way, would have been as great as the earthquake. 

Soon after this event my brother disappeared 
and for a week we heard nothing of him, when a 
letter came from him from Constantinople asking 
that some of his clothes might be sent to him, 
and adding that as he had had enough of Brussa 
he had in a moment of desperation got on his 
horse just as he was, with a hand-bag, and two 
fine potatoes from the farm, and had gone to 
Constantinople. Here he had presented himself 
to Sir Henry Bulwer, our Ambassador, and a very 
old friend of my mother, and had offered him his 
two fine potatoes. His Excellency, on hearing 
whose son the boy was, and much amused by the 
originality of the youngster, looked him up and 
down and, struck by his personality, asked him to 
be his guest, and sent him down to work in the 
chancery. This was the beginning of my dear 
brother's distinguished career and of his valuable 
services to the Government, first as dragoman and 
then as oriental secretary. 



My brother's departure was a sad loss to me as he 
had been my best friend and chief companion from 
childhood, which accounted for my distaste for 
dolls and games more adapted to girlish enjoyment. 
I loved Nature and all her wonderful works that 
strike the youthful attention and elevate the mind 
to regions incomprehensible in their entirety, but 
sweet to dwell upon. But time passed on and my 
solitude ceased to trouble me, and I felt happy to 
see my dear mother so pleased at the unexpected 
result of my brother's venturous enterprise. I had 
a most pleasant break to the monotony of my life 
by the arrival of a party of Constantinople friends, 
which included the interesting Monsieur le Baron 
de Lesseps, one of the brilliant celebrities of his 
time, whose charming personality won every heart. 
It is well known how his wonderful energy and 
engineering skill produced the Suez Canal in spite 
of extraordinary difficulties. The Brussa season 
was at its height and an expedition to the summit 
of Mount Olympus was planned, to my great 
delight. We rode up the lower slopes through 
densely wooded forests. Presently the ascent 
became steeper, and, if T remember rightly, it took 


us some seven hours to reach the snow-clad sunnmit, 
the last part of the journey being accomplished on 
foot. The lovely scenery and the bracing effects 
of the cool breeze appeared to have an exhilarating 
effect on all the party, with the result that we 
started on a race to see who could reach the top 
first. In my foolish, childish conceit I took the 
lead, ignorant of the fact that we were walking on 
an immense bridge of snow, beneath which a 
silently flowing river found its way to the margin 
of the plateau to fall 1000 feet in a cascade 
below. As I neared the goal of my ambition to 
my intense horror I felt myself gliding down to 
eternity. Fortunately when I had slipped but a 
few feet Monsieur le Baron de Lesseps came to 
my rescue, and with great presence of mind and 
agility saved my life, with no worse results to me 
than a good ducking and the loss of my hat.^ 

A few days after our visitors had left I received 
a letter from my sister Sophy asking me to join 
her at Constantinople and to accompany her to 
her new home in Bitholia (Monastir), the old 
capital of Macedonia, where my brother-in-law, 
Mr Longworth, had been appointed Consul. This 
trip was to end the first period of my youth with 
all its joys, its ^sorrows, its illusions, and its 
delusions ; all had to be left behind on my entering 

^ Some years ago a good deal of public attention was drawn 
to the mysterious disappearance of an English traveller who 
had gone up Mount Olympus and was never seen again, nor 
was his body found in spite of careful search. In that 
solitary region was a band of Albanian shepherds, cut-throats, 
within whose mandra (fold) no one thought of looking, and 
where, according to Keridly Mustapha Naily Pasha, after the 
murder of the traveller the body had probably been buried. 


this new phase of life. I had a vague idea that 
my sister intended to keep me with her. Fresh 
from England, I confess I did not relish her plan, 
but the die having been cast, I put the best face on 
it that I could and we started on our journey via 
Salonika. We went on board an antiquated cast- 
off paddle-wheel steamer belonging to some Greek 
company. The voyage was neither comfortable 
nor pleasant, but worse was to come. On the 
third day we reached Salonika, where we landed 
in a small boat on the sandy beach as there was 
no harbour or landing-stage. Dozens of shoddy 
looking Jewish boatmen surrounded our steamer, 
fighting, swearing, and screaming amongst them- 
selves for the first customers. I thought we 
should never see the end of the fray, until there 
arrived a clean, good boat occupied by a handsome, 
bright-looking, young Englishman who scattered 
the boatmen right and left and came on board, 
cordially shook hands with my sister, and was 
formally introduced to me as Mr John Blunt, 
Vice-Consul at Uskub in Albania. This very 
energetic young man soon got us ashore with our 
baggage, and, in the absence of any hotel, drove 
us to the house of Mr Calvert, the then British 
Consul at Salonika. 

Next morning we started for Vodena, half-way 
to Bitholia. After a stormy night at this lovely 
place, as guests of the Greek Archbishop, we made 
a fresh start on posthorses for our final destination. 
In spite of the absence of proper roads, of broken 
bridges, and of overflowing torrents, we reached 
Bitholia in two instead of three days. Dead tired 
as I felt, I cheered up as we got on to a good bit 


of road shaded by two lines of trees, a mile from 
the town. This bit of road ended in an ill-paved 
main street which, however, was wide, and both 
sides were occupied by the best buildings Bitholia 
could boast of. It looked nice, and I was glad 
to see the Consulate appeared to be one of the 
best amongst the houses. My brother-in-law was 
absent on a mission and Mr Blunt stayed at the 
Consulate as his representative. 

On the day after our arrival half the town 
called on my sister. Except for one or two 
consuls and a small number of officers belonging 
to the Turkish Army, which at that time had its 
headquarters at Bitholia, there did not appear to 
be anybody likely to be of great interest to us. 
The rest of the visitors consisted of a mixture 
of Turkish beys, Albanians, Greeks, Wallachs, 
Bulgarians, and a few others who, stiff and 
upright, sat on the edge of their chairs. The 
ladies who came were mostly wealthy Wallachians 
and looked like dressed-up boards. I had no idea, 
till I saw them, that any human beings could be 
so straight and thin as these ladies were from head 
to foot. When we were relieved of the presence 
of the somewhat trying company I could not help 
expressing my disgust at Bitholia's social resources. 
My sister laughed, saying, "Never mind, later on 
you will find plenty to interest you in this part of 
the world." 

No doubt the country itself looked pretty and 
interesting, in spite of the fact that nothing 
remained in the way of buildings to attest to its 
past wealth and grandeur, as everything had been 
rased to the ground by the destructive Turkish 


conquest, in accordance with the dictum of the 
Turkish creed, "first the souls and then their 
belongings." Several incidents shortly occurred 
which were of interest to us. The first was the 
sudden appearance of a very fine-looking Serbian 
girl, armed to the teeth, who had walked all the 
way from Serbia to seek the chastisement of a 
young Turk attached to the medical department 
of the army as a dispenser, who had promised to 
marry her in her own country during the Turkish 
occupation, and had afterwards deserted her. The 
base deceiver was no longer at Bitholia, but my 
kind, charitable sister at once offered the girl 
hospitality till she could go back to her own 
country. About the same time another girl, this 
time from Kurdistan, arrived, dressed in man's 
clothes. This one had found her way to the 
Crimea in search of her lost lover. On finding 
that her lover had been killed she entered the 
army in order to vindicate his death, and, in spite 
of being a woman, fought with such bravery and 
success that within a short time, none doubting 
the sex indicated by her clothes, she rose to the 
rank of " Ramazan chaouch," i.e., a sergeant made 
during the period of Ramazan, a religious festival. 
As a " Ramazan chaouch " she followed her regiment 
to Bitholia, when it became known to the authorities 
that she was a woman. His Majesty the Sultan 
ordered that a pension should be given her for her 
services, and this was at once awarded, but owing 
to the greed of the official hands through which it 
had to pass it never reached her. She therefore 
came to the Consulate to plead for assistance to 
help her to obtain her pension. During one of 


her daily visits she came face to face with the 
Serbian heroine and unwisely began with much 
vigour to discuss the war. This led to a hand-to- 
hand fight, the Serbian catching up a kitchen 
knife, the " chaouch " a pair of tongs. I had the 
greatest difficulty in separating these women, who, 
forgetting their personal grievances, tried to kill 
each other pour Vhonneur de la patrie. 

At this time the Turkish Army was, I believe, 
at its worst — impoverished in substance, and 
short even of the few necessaries the brave 
Turkish soldier needs. Except for a few of the 
superior officers, the army gave one the impression 
of a tatterdemalion body of disorganised men. 
Among the generals of this army were several 
naturalised Poles and Austrians, and such well- 
known Turks as Osman Ghazi and a few others 
who were disposed to make changes in the 
organisation of the army, and who had the services 
of a French officer attached to the staff of the 
commander-in-chief as advisor. Of the German 
element, as far as I can remember, there was no 
one of note. Polish officers were the most 
numerous owing to a fine regiment which had 
been formed under the command of General 
Tchaykovsky ; but this regiment only lasted a few 
years because of the jealousies and intrigues of the 
anti-Christian party. The army, however, such 
as it was, gave some life to the otherwise dead 
alive old country which was neglected, and its 
fine natural sources undeveloped. My brother- 
in-law, struck with the wealth and fertility of the 
country, bought a big estate for a couple of 
thousand pounds ; but when he tried to cultivate 


his property the neighbouring Albanians, armed, 
marched down in a body and threatened to shoot 
everybody on the place. The authorities being 
powerless to stop the Albanian depredations 
returned the amount paid by Mr Longworth, and 
took the estate over as Government property. 
Such was the condition of Bitholia (Monastir) 
over half a century ago. One evening, some 
time after our arrival there, when my brother-in- 
law's return was hourly expected, we heard a 
great clatter of posthorses at the gate, followed 
by a violent ringing of the bell. Mr Blunt, who 
happened to be below, called out in his impulsive 
way at the top of his voice, "Mrs Longworth, 
Mrs Longworth, Longworth has arrived." My 
dear sister, who adored her husband, rushed 
downstairs and fell into the arms of the traveller 
as he came into the hall before the lights were 
brought. The traveller so tenderly welcomed, 
instead of responding, was doing his best to free 
himself from my sister's embrace. When the 
light was brought she found to her dismay that 
the newcomer, not unlike her husband in general 
appearance, was a total stranger. In order to 
punish what she considered an ugly joke on the 
part of Mr Blunt, she boxed his ears, and 
apologised to the stranger who introduced himself 
as Mr Dan Garden, M.P., on a trip through 
Macedonia. In the absence of any hotel my 
sister naturally offered Mr Garden the hospitality 
of the Consulate, which led to a' fresh adventure 
in the evening owing to the stupidity of the maid- 
servant. This servant was a Slav, a silly, grinning 
creature, who was ordered to get Mr Blunt's room 


ready for Mr Garden, and put a mattress and 
pillow in the drawing-room for Mr Blunt. She 
grinned assent and left the room, to rush back 
ten minutes later shouldering the mattress and 
accessories which she threw down in anger, 
saying, "He wanted to murder me with his 
revolver." On inquiring who wanted to murder 
her, she said, " That solemn looking visitor who, 
as I tried to lay the mattress on the floor, sat up 
in his bed, saying, ** Istemem, Istemem " ('* I 
don't want, I don't want.") We naturally thought 
that Mr Garden, who had quickly fallen asleep 
after his long journey, had been annoyed to be 
disturbed by another person's bed being brought 
into his room, just the thing we had endeavoured 
to avoid. When I greeted Mr Garden next 
morning he was looking a little more solemn than 
on the previous evening, and was busy bandaging 
his felt hat on to his knee, saying that this was 
the best cure for rheumatism. Similar incidents 
of wearing strange costumes in the Near East 
are of the commonest occurrence, especially among 
English people, who have often well earned the 
sobriquet of '' mad Englishmen " by turning up 
in clothes so extraordinary that crowds of children 
follow them in the streets. I recollect seeing a 
traveller from India, who was, I think, the maddest 
of mad Englishmen, with rows of beads round 
his neck, and a hat on his head surrounded by a 
range of little windows which opened and shut 
when he pressed a spring ! 

After a few weeks in Bitholia I had heard and 
seen so many strange things that I began to 
think my sister had been right in telling me 


that I should become more interested in the 
country later on. There were lovely rides all 
round the country, which Mr Blunt and I greatly 
enjoyed, as well as the company of each other. 
As we became better acquainted our friendship, 
as such friendships often do, ended by our 
becoming engaged, and our marriage speedily 
followed, in spite of the difficulties caused by the 
absence of my brother-in-law, and the possibility 
of arranging for a marriage ceremony in the non- 
existence of a Protestant Church or missionary. I 
had much to do when once I had made up my mind 
to cast my lot in the wildest regions of Albania. 
There were the arrangements for the marriage, 
my clothes to make, my house linen to get, and a 
thousand and one other things to arrange, of 
which the most difficult was to arrange for the 
marriage ceremony. On the return of my brother- 
in-law a family council was held on ways and 

My sister proposed the Roman Catholic 
service, which I refused, chiefly because it meant 
changing my faith on account of hors de Teglise 
point de salut, Mr Blunt proposed the Turkish 
nikiah or marriage, which he thought would be 
quite binding, as it was a national institution. I 
refused this suggestion with indignation, owing to 
all the privileges of a Turkish marriage being on 
the side of the husband. Divorce, for instance, 
he can obtain solely by ordering his better half 
'*to cover her face," not to mention the still 
greater right he possesses, that of having as many 
wives as he chooses. Mr Blunt, who was only 
joking, as he wanted to raise my indignation. 


apologised humbly for his pretended ignorance of 
these important points, and turned the whole 
thing into such a farce that we all joined heartily 
in the merriment which ensued. My brother-in- 
law, now awake to his responsibilities, offered 
his privileged services for the civil marriage, and 
suggested the Orthodox (Greek) form for the 
religious ceremony, which I accepted willingly, as, 
unlike the Roman Catholic Church, there is no 
obligation to change the form of faith which is 
very like our own, ie,, no belief in the doctrine 
of transubstantiation. His Holiness the Arch- 
bishop of Pelagonia kindly acceded to our 
request that he would perform the religious 
service, and the wedding was fixed for 25th 
November 1858. We all became very busy 
preparing for the event. My kind sister concen- 
trated her energies on the confectionery, and 
prepared a beautiful wedding cake as well as 
many delicacies for the ball which was to follow 
the wedding. Mr Blunt and my brother-in-law 
helped us by approving or disapproving the 
arrangements. As for me, I had to become 
dressmaker and seamstress, and cut out and 
prepare my wedding dress which, as luck would 
have it, turned out a great success. I had, at the 
same time, to prepare two gala costumes for two 
little blackies (slaves) who, during the absence of 
Mr Longworth had taken refuge in the Consulate, 
thereby causing Mr Blunt a good deal of trouble 
to get the order from the Pasha to liberate them, 
in accordance with the English convention on 
the anti-slavery question. They looked nice little 
girls between thirteen and fourteen years of age, 


the one a regular Central African type with hair 
like a Turk's head broom, the other an Abyssinian 
with soft curly hair and regular dark features. 
As they were homeless I decided to take them 
under my care and bring them up as maids. 
These children entered into all the preparations 
with great joy, and stood and watched the 
marriage ceremony and the ball in the evening 
with wide open eyes and gaping mouths. No 
doubt overcome by sleep they disappeared, to be 
discovered later on by my husband fast asleep 
under the bed, with their little black legs 
protruding from beneath the vallance. It was 
luck, I thought, that in their savage ways they 
had preferred the floor rather than the bed to 
sleep on. The last day of my girlish freedom was 
not very cheerful, as my thoughts would go back 
to the past and the many plans and dreams I had 
made as regards the future, with its bright vista 
of life in a civilised country like England, with 
all her wonderful works of art and civilisation 
within the reach of rich and poor to enjoy in 
perfect peace and security under a well-ordered 
government. I could not help comparing this 
with what I had bound myself to in the future. 
In spite of the assurance I had of having secured 
a very happy home-life, I felt very low and 
depressed. My fiance noticed my unhappy looks 
and asked me what was the matter. I told him 
all I felt and thought. For a few minutes he 
looked very sorry and concerned, but soon 
brightened up and said : *' My dear child, do you 
imagine that I am the sort of man to be held 
down in a wild country like Albania ? Every 


career must have its beginning, and 1 am not at 
all sorry to begin mine in Albania ; but you can 
rest assured it will be for only a short time, and 
will end so soon as I have mastered and informed 
the Government of all that is worth knowing. 
So cheer up, and like me, think better of the 
future, which 1 promise to make as happy and 
cheerful, as I can." This comforting assurance 
chased away all my sombre thoughts, and, recover- 
ing my good spirits, I began to think of the morrow 
and its complicated ceremonies in a brighter light. 
There was still much to be done, for in Bitholia 
we could get no outside help, nor could we obtain 
many things usually thought to be indispensable, 
but a la guerre comme a la guerre, and we had 
to do without them. The ceremony was to take 
place at the Consulate. An altar had to be 
arranged in the centre of the drawing-room, and 
two huge wreaths of orange blossom with white 
ribbon bows and long ends had to be made (these 
latter had to play an important part in the 
marriage ceremony), as well as many smaller 
details connected with the religious service. 
There were two things which I flatly refused to 
do, one was to be paraded all round the town in 
my bridal costume, the other to be kissed by all 
the company when wishing me happiness. I 
accepted the good wishes but avoided the kisses 
by carefully keeping my bridal veil down. 

Next day soon after a few select visitors had 
come. His Grace the Archbishop of Pelagonia 
in his splendid gold-bespangled vestments, accom- 
panied by his deacon and half a dozen priests 
in the pleated robes and with their imposing 


kalmosks (copes) over their long curly hair, walked 
slowly and quietly into the room and took up 
their appointed places. There were also a combare 
or best man and two witnesses, Raouf Pasha 
and Hassan Pasha who were Mohammedans. The 
service which was short but imposing began by 
my brother-in-law performing the civil portion of 
the service in English, followed by His Holiness 
the Archbishop reading the marriage service in 
Greek, and by placing or rather crowning both my 
husband's and my head with the orange blossom 
wreaths. These were exchanged three times on 
our heads. He first held them over our heads 
and then exchanged them to the other, each time 
repeating, " In the name of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost." At the same time he exchanged 
our wedding rings in the same manner. Good 
wishes in the form of grain and bonbons were 
showered on us after the blessing. I should 
think but few weddings have been of so composite 
a character as ours. My brother-in-law was a 
Roman Catholic, His Holiness was the head of 
the Orthodox (Greek) Church, we were members 
of the Church of England, and our tv/o witnesses 
were Mohammedans. 

The ball in the evening was a great success, and 
I thoroughly enjoyed it as my husband and some 
of the officers proved to be excellent dancers. The 
journey to our home at Uskub had to be under- 
taken on posthorses, and as this was the rainy 
season it was not very pleasant. The bad roads 
were sometimes knee -deep in mud, and when 
crossing streams the horses were often up to their 
girths in the water, and yet in spite of all, since we 


were both good riders, the journey was done in 
two days instead of three. Uskub, as we entered 
it, impressed me as being a bright and cheerful 
town. The Consulate was situated outside the 
town on the fine Vardar river and appeared from 
the outside to be a large house, but within it 
proved only to be half finished and was tenanted 
by large numbers of doves and blackbirds whose 
cooing and singing broke the monotony of the 
solitude. The first faces we saw next morning 
were those of our two little blackies who had just 
arrived with the baggage. Much to my amuse- 
ment visitors soon followed, headed by the 
Governor. There were also the Archbishop 
of Uskub, some Albanian brigand boys, the 
Hodjabachi or headmen of the Christian com- 
munities, which were composed of Serbs, Greeks, 
and Bulgars, who all appeared anxious and pleased 
to make my acquaintance as the first English 
woman that they had ever seen in their country. 
The establishment of a British Consulate must 
have been a great event and deeply interesting to 
the inhabitants. Next morning we made our first 
appearance in the main street of the town, arm in 
arm, and soon after callers came to make inquiries 
as to the Consolos Bey's state of health on the 
supposition that he must be very ill since he only 
went out walking supported on his hanoum's arm I 
The Christian ladies next came in groups to call 
upon me. Some looked nice and pretty in their 
rich native costumes, often, however, made 
ridiculous by their attempts to improve these by 
a mixture of English and French fashions, such 
for instance as crinolines under their wide trousers 



or bloomers, elastic-sided boots, and the hideous 
black silk or satin men's neckties of the day, which 
fastened with a spring. I could not help smiling 
when I thought of the effect this motley company 
would have made in a drawing-room at home. 
Yet these ladies looked dignified as well as satisfied 
with themselves. After sitting down each lady 
produced a bag mysteriously hidden in her 
garments, and brought out a lot of genuine 
jewellery with which they began to ornament 
their heads and persons. I asked them how it 
was they did not put on their jewellery before 
coming to pay their call on me. " No fear of our 
doing so," said they, "if we ventured into the 
streets with our treasures exposed, the Albanian 
beys would take them all, and we should never 
see them again." Although familiar as I was with 
Turkish, Greek, and a little Bulgarian, the con- 
versation was neither flowing nor interesting owing 
to there being nothing in common between a free, 
civilised person and those ignorant, long-suffering 
creatures. As I was full of work and care in my 
efforts to set in order my small establishment, 
neither I nor my husband had time to give to the 
Uskub social circle. My husband, like the dear 
he was, set to work carpentering, papering the few 
habitable rooms, and working at the sewing machine. 
In a couple of weeks we settled down and organised 
our daily mode of life with the help of the two 
little blackies, a native boy my husband had saved 
from slavery, and a good, intelligent native woman 
who had freed herself from slavery by running away 
from the konak of a rich Dere Bey whom the Porte 
had seen fit quietly to clear out of the way. This 


woman who had kept out of sight for a time offered 
her services to me as cook. We had also engaged 
a groom who I found was steahng our provisions, 
and when he had the audacity to tell me that a 
fine goose which was in the larder ready for cook- 
ing had flown away he had to leave us suddenly. 
Fortunately grooms were not difficult to replace. 
We also had a fine young Albanian guard, Hussein 
Aga by name. After we had trained our staff 
somewhat the establishment began to look some- 
thing like a home. Strange to say, all this work 
had absorbed our thoughts to such an extent that 
we lost all record of time so that we celebrated our 
Christmas a fortnight too soon. As we sat down 
to our first Christmas dinner together my husband 
produced a bottle of champagne, a trophy of the 
Crimean War, to celebrate the happy event. My 
plum-pudding, with which I had taken so much 
trouble, came in at the same time. Pleased with 
the product of my handiwork my husband cut into 
it, when to my amazement I noticed the spoon 
would go no further than a few inches. "Try 
another side," said I, with tears of disappointment 
in my eyes ; "but what can be wrong when I myself 
measured the ingredients, mixed them together, 
and tied the pudding up." My amused better 
half made another dash into the inner part, when 
to my horror and humiliation what should come 
out but a whole egg in its shell. The incident 
was so preposterous that I at once sent for the 
cook for an explanation. " Madam," said she in a 
fury, **it was by your orders that I put in the eggs 
in their shells." I then remembered having asked 
her to boil a couple of eggs in the pot in which the 


plum-pudding was boiling for a salad I was making, 
and she, mistaking what I had said, had thrust the 
eggs into the pudding. Fortunately the pudding 
was none the worse. The post came in at that 
moment after some considerable delay, and on 
opening a letter from my sister Sophy I found a 
pressing invitation for us to go and spend Christ- 
mas at Bitholia. It was only then, on comparing 
dates and counting up days, that we realised we 
were celebrating Christmas a fortnight before 
25th December. We came to the conclusion 
that there must be something wrong either in the 
air of the place or with our own selves to make us 
lose record of even time itself. 



The monotonous life at Uskub began to tell on 
both of us. My husband, who never knew what 
idleness was, occupied himself mastering all that 
was worth knowing about Northern Albania and 
its inhabitants. I believe he had only two cases 
during the two years we were at Uskub in which 
his Consular assistance was claimed. The first 
was the murder of an Ionian (British) subject. 
This man was murdered close to the town by a 
local Bey, who, on the day following the murder, 
coolly walked into the town and was arrested at 
the instigation of my husband by a body of 
police whilst in the shop of an Albanian costumier, 
when he was on the point of paying £50 for a rich 
costume he had just chosen. The day following 
his arrest all his womenkind came in a body to me 
begging me to get their Bey liberated, as they 
thought that, Turkish fashion, they might bribe 
me to persuade my husband to get the Bey freed. 
The Bey was not hanged, as Sultan Abdul Medjid 
was averse from capital punishment, but was im- 
prisoned for a time. The women evidently thought 
nothing of the crime the Bey had committed. 

The second case was that of another Ionian 


(British) subject who rushed into the Consulate 
in an agitated condition, asking the Consul's 
assistance as his wife was about to have a baby. 
This funny incident Mr Blunt turned to his own 
use years later in Boston, when a very inquisitive 
lady newspaper reporter walked into his office 
to interview him respecting the duties of a consul 
in Turkey. Recollecting this incident he solemnly 
related it to the lady, who, evidently scandalised, 
put her notebook into her bag and hastily left the 

Besides the absence of British subjects in 
Uskub there was no commercial connection, nor 
indeed any kind of connection with England. 
The Consular work consisted in reports on the 
neglected and impoverished state of the country, 
and on the habits and resources of its people, who 
greatly depended for their existence on produce 
stolen from the unfortunate Christians who lived 
in the towns and villages. The cattle, corn, and 
indeed everything the Albanians could lay their 
hands on, they carried off from the Christians after 
inflicting the most cruel and terrible outrages. 

Looking over Sir John's Uskub correspond- 
ence nearly every paper I take up is labelled 
"Albanian atrocities" ; and yet strange to say as a 
tribal people the Albanian Ghegs possess certain 
strict unwritten laws for the regulation of their 
home life with regard to the virtues of honour, 
honesty, and morality, which are far more rigidly 
enforced with them than among many more highly 
civilised and law-abiding peoples. 

From time immemorial the Albanians have 
committed every outrage, every cruelty and injury 


on those who were not protected by their code of 
honour. As I Hved among these people for two 
years, 1858-1860, and saw and heard much with 
my own eyes and ears, I feel convinced that for 
ages to come no power will break off* the old well- 
established Albanian habits of utter disregard for 
life and property outside their own people. I 
consequently cannot help feeling deeply for the 
misfortune of those Christian towns and villages, 
barely free from their slavery under Turkish 
control, who are to fall beneath the yoke of the 
projected enlarged Albania. This will be worse 
than Turkish slavery, especially for the unfortunate 
Greeks of Epirus. This part of Greece, little 
known in England, counts for one of the finest 
and most patriotic parts of the old country, which 
for centuries has been at the head of the liberating 
national movement, and is known to have spent 
much of its wealth in embellishing Athens, and 
in subscribing funds to be utilised in the happy 
event of liberation. Should this project of an 
enlarged Albania come to be realised the blow 
will be terrible to the Greeks of Epirus, and the 
pacific healing difficult to accomplish. At the 
time we lived at Uskub it was an unknown part 
of the world, and remained so till the railway was 
built about a score of years ago, which brought 
it more into evidence. The railway, I believe, 
has not brought any great change or improvement 
to the country itself. 

When the novelty of life in savage Albania 
had subsided we began to have a great longing 
to get away. I looked after my menage and took 
long rides into the country, fearless, thanks to 


our perfect security from Albanian attacks, due 
to the great name England had acquired all over 
Albania, on the return of the Albanian forces 
from the Crimean War. These forces had been 
officered by Englishmen, and England's name 
stood for justice, honesty, and greatness. The 
kind care the Albanians had received at the hands 
of the English made them known and spoken of 
in every hamlet. As a matter of fact during the 
two years I spent in that wild region, none of 
the Albanian attributes of savagery ever came 
nearer to me than by report. The Turkish 
Governor himself was far from enjoying the 
security that we did, for, while we could go 
anywhere we pleased, he could not move out 
of his house without an escort, and even in his 
konak he was not safe, as a pistol shot at His 
Excellency was of almost daily occurrence. 

Among the few interesting natives I came 
across in Uskub was a venerable old Sheik, 
reported to have much success with the dreaded 
effects of the evil eye, as well as for his gift of 
predicting the future. 

As his services were offered free of charge to 
man and beast, Hussein Aga, our Albanian guard, 
asked him to come and see my favourite horse 
" Swift," which was sick. " Swift " was a fine 
racehorse from the Crimea, which had been given 
to my husband. I went to the stable to watch 
the old Sheik's treatment, and found it consisted 
of spitting and blowing into the mouth of the 
horse, and pulling its ears. Wonderful to relate, 
the poor beast soon shook off the effects of its 
sickness, brightened up and neighed, and looked 


at me for a bit of sugar. I thanked the old 
Sheik and asked him in my most fluent Turkish 
to come and have a cup of coffee. He willingly 
accepted. When my husband left the room, the 
old man with his deep-set eyes asked my leave 
to predict what the future had in store for us. 
I accepted. Who could have refused such an 
offer, living in such a place as Uskub ? ** Your 
husband, the Bey, is a man possessed of very fine 
qualities, and of great bravery and courage. He 
will have a long, wandering life, doing a great 
deal of good, but he would do better still for 
himself if he would follow your advice." 

The Sheik was not wrong in his prediction. I 
for one rarely, if ever, came across a man like 
Mr Blunt who put aside his own interests in order 
to serve his country. 

"Khanum" (madame), said he, "Uskub is much 
too small a place for you, and the sooner you 
leave it and get to a place where you can exercise 
your brain power the better. Your life will be a 
long one with cares and joys, and will not end as 
happily as you deserve." In all probability 1 
should have forgotten all about this prophecy but 
for its parting words, which alas, have been 
largely realised I 

A wealthy Armenian of Constantinople, 
Mardiros Effendi by name, came to Uskub on 
business. He was clever and amusing and my 
husband and I enjoyed his company, notwith- 
standing that he was a bit of a coward, like most 
Armenians were, under the Turkish administration. 
Mardiros had a somewhat embarrassing adventure 
while at Uskub. He took rooms facing the 


konak of the aged but liberal Kadi (judge) of 
Uskub, and as he was well dressed, of agreeable 
presence, and living in good style, he soon attracted 
the attention of the old Kadi, who was greatly 
pleased to have Mardiros as his neighbour and 
often went to see him. After a time Mardiros felt 
a certain amount of curiosity with regard to an 
opening in a jalousie of one of the windows in the 
Kadi's house opposite to his rooms. The opening 
was slightly enlarged and allowed two pretty 
fingers, one ornamented by a beautiful ring, 
representing the emblem of love among Turkish 
ladies, to appear. The opening went on enlarging 
till he could see two lovely eyes looking at him. 
Impressed as he was, Mardiros resisted the 
temptation of responding to the advances of the 
lovely girl, one of the wives of the Kadi, no doubt 
bored to death in her closely confined life. 

One evening she asked of her husband, the 
Kadi, leave to go to a wedding in the neighbour- 
hood. Instead, however, of preparing for a 
wedding she dressed up in the Kadi's robes, and 
with a shawl over the turban went across to make 
the acquaintance of her neighbour. She knocked 
at the door, the servant opened it and led her 
upstairs, announcing to his master, — 

" Effendi, the Kadi has come." 

Once well within the room she cast off her 
disguise and, amazed by her beauty and her 
courage, Mardiros stood speechless gazing at her, 
and thinking it would be death for both of them if 
her childish adventure were discovered. But she, 
more amused than frightened, laughed and said, 
" EfFendi, where is your courage, your manliness ? 


Is this the way you receive the friendly visit of a 
neighbour? Take example from me and look 
pleasant. The Kadi EfFendi being out, I thought 
to replace his company with advantage." 

Our friend, ashamed of the poor figure he was 
cutting, began to look more alive, when there was 
another knock at the door and the servant rushed 
in saying, — 

'' EfFendi, EfFendi, the Kadi has come." 

Whilst her host once more became helpless she 
looked about, and seeing a recess covered by a 
curtain hid behind it just as the real Kadi walked 
in. Finding Mardiros in a speechless condition, 
the Kadi said he was sorry to have disturbed him, 
but as his wife had gone to a wedding he thought 
he would come and spend a pleasant hour with 
him. Poor Mardiros, now more dead than alive, 
as he thought of Madame Kadi within a few* steps 
of her husband, felt, so he told us, that his last 
hour had come. Fortunately the considerate Kadi 
soon took his departure, but only just in time, as 
the next moment Madame rushed out saying she 
was suffocating and Kadi or no Kadi she must 
come out. There ended his adventure, which 
points out that even a Turkish girl kept under 
lock and key will gain her liberty at times. Next 
day Mardiros moved to the opposite end of the 

Out of genuine sympathy or curiosity I called 
at the harem in question and was struck by the 
charm of the veilted beauty, who had a look of 
melancholy in her young eyes that roused my pity 
and sympathy. 

As my husband had predicted our stay at 


Uskub was of no long duration, for before two 
years were quite gone he was instructed to go on a 
mission of inspection over Macedonia and report 
on the result of a Turkish Reform Expedition made 
under the pressure of England. The Turkish 
Government sent Kibrisly Mehemet Pasha to 
carry out the suggested reforms. 

Since I could take no part in this expedition, 
and as I did not care' to remain at Uskub alone, 
my husband kindly suggested that I should go 
to Constantinople for a change. I accepted the 
proposal with empressem^ent, so we soon started 
on our separate ways. I took my inseparable 
"blackies" with me, and accompanied by our 
brave, intelligent, and faithful guard, Hussein Aga, 
I undertook the long land journey to Gallipoli, 
and then took steamer for Constantinople. I had 
rather despised Constantinople on my arrival from 
England some three years previously, but now the 
place looked to me like a terrestial paradise ; even 
the '' blackies " seemed to appreciate the change. 
My brother met me and we drove straight to 
Therapia, where he had taken a small, pretty 
house for me belonging to my dear old nurse, just 
opposite to the house in which I was born. 

Soon old and new friends began to call upon 
me, and I felt the dreadful Uskub depression 
clearing from my brain. Sir Henry Bulwer was 
still Ambassador in Turkey, and both he and 
Lady Bulwer were extremely kind to me. Sir 
Henry Bulwer and Lord Lumley took great 
interest in my statements about Albania and the 
little profit there could be in keeping on the Vice- 
Consulate at Uskub in so hopeless a country. 


At the same time I pleaded my own cause so 
earnestly that both the Ambassador and Lord 
Lumley promised to do their best for a transfer 
for my husband. The time proved opportune, 
owing to a certain amount of political agitation 
at Constantinople. England was pressing hard 
on the Porte for the promised reforms in 
European Turkey. On the other hand, the 
Bulgarians had begun to wake up concerning their 
national rights and religious grievances against 
the Greek Patriarchate. In their anxiety to obtain 
support from wherever they could, they tried to 
interest France, and went so far as to make 
conditional promises that the Bulgarian nation 
should become Roman Catholic. The bait took 
at the Vatican. A fine Jesuit College was built 
at Salonika for the education of Uniates. An 
ignorant, worthless Bulgar priest was found 
wilHng to change his religion, and he was sent to 
Rome to be consecrated as the Bishop of the 
Uniates. On my husband's return from his 
mission in Macedonia, he was sent to Philippopolis 
to investigate these matters. He found the place 
upset by a Greco-Bulgarian polemic, re the 
ascendancy the Greeks had assumed over the 
Bulgarian churches to the exclusion of their own 
priests and of the Bulgarian language. The 
difficulties which had brought great dissension 
between the Greeks and Bulgarians were origin- 
ated by the Greek Patriarch at Constantinople, 
the head of the Orthodox (Greek) Church in the 
Near East, as well as in Greece and in Russia. In 
course of time most of the states professing 
adherence to the Orthodox (Greek) Church 


detached themselves from the Patriarch. Bulgaria 
being still under Turkish dominion led to intoler- 
able abuses, such, for instance, as the confiscation 
by the Patriarch of churches built by Bulgarians, 
and his prohibition of the Bulgarian service being 
read in any other church. The fight continued 
for years and came to be a national question, and 
staunch patriots like Mr Stoyanowich, Mr Vulko- 
wich, Dr TchomakofF, and others worked with 
the most astonishing zeal and activity in their 
efforts to wake up the Bulgarians out of their 
ignorant trance. My husband and I were much 
interested to watch the Bulgarians use every 
means they could to obtain the support of any 
foreign power willing to help them. My husband 
mastered the whole question, but limited his action 
to keeping his Government informed of what 
was going on. There was a good deal of the 
Machiavellian policy in their methods with foreign 
powers after the fiasco with France and the 
Vatican. Hoping for better success with the 
English Government, the Bulgarians made a 
proposal through Mr Blunt similar to that which 
they had made to France, namely, that they would 
accept the English national religion in return for 
English assistance. Mr Blunt listened with atten- 
tion to their request, then turned to the deputation 
and said, "Gentlemen, I thank you for your 
important offer, but I regret to say that were I 
to see you all on your bended knees taking your 
oaths for carrying out this measure, I would not 
believe you." 

After looking at each other the deputation rose 
in a body and asked my husband to shake hands 


with them, saying, "You are perfectly right, sir, 
but necessity at times impels us to do strange 

These were among the first steps the Bulgarians 
took to gain their independence in religious 
matters which years after they obtained by separ- 
ating entirely from the Patriarch by the creation 
of the Exarchate at Constantinople. My husband 
supported the rights of the Bulgarians to hold 
their own services in their own churches and in 
their own language. 

Mr Blunt's attitude in this matter raised the 
hatred of the Greeks, who tried to revenge them- 
selves by filling their newspapers with abusive 
stories about him. My husband, naturally sensitive 
with regard to these reports, wrote to me to ask 
His Excellency whether he should reply to them. 
Sir Henry smiled, saying, — 

"Have you seen one or two reports about 
me in the Levant Herald? I have just been 
informed that the author of these unflattering 
reports is the same man who has come to me to 
beg permission to reply to them. Unflattering 
reports in Levantine newspapers have no import- 
ance attached to them." 

While my husband was endeavouring to clear 
up the rights and wrongs of the Bulgars and 
Greeks I was thoroughly enjoying myself, and 
received much kindness from everyone as a young 
grass widow. The French Ambassador kindly put 
the key of his lovely garden at my disposal, which 
facilitated my daily visits to my dear brother at 
the Embassy, by shortening the distance, as 
otherwise 1 should have had to go a long way^ 


round by the road. I also had the privilege of 
using M. TAmbassadeur's fine horses, and greatly 
enjoyed riding all round the lovely hills bordering 
the Bosphorus. The presence of the Diplomatic 
Corps, which happened to be there at the time, 
gave much life and animation to the summer 

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs Suchodolska, 
the daughter of General Tchaikovsky, a clever, 
accorbplished woman, who had been brought up 
in Paris by the Princess Czartorjska, and who 
became my greatest friend. 

Mrs Suchodolska was but little known in 
Constantinople, and the French Ambassador 
meeting her at my house, asked me " Dans quel 
bosquet avez-vous ramasse ce bel eglantier." She 
was, however, better known in Austria than in 
Turkey, and received an offer from the Austrian 
Government to go on a mission for three years 
to Russia, with the object of collecting all possible 
information with regard to the constitution and 
working of the Russian Army. The salary for 
this arduous task was left for Mrs Suchodolska 
to fix. She was told that going from Turkey she 
would be less suspected of trying to gain informa- 
tion than if she went from Austria. Mrs 
Suchodolska talked the matter over with me, 
and we came to the conclusion that she should 
refuse it, since the post would be a risky one, 
owing to the espionage prevalent in Russia, and 
might lead to her banishment to Siberia. I 
merely mention this incident to show how, even 
in those early days, the Powers were heading 
against each other and building castles in the air 


on their future possible conquests. England, 
France, Italy, and Austria were much to the 
front in those days, and even Russia, in spite of 
the fact that she had always been looked upon as 
a deadly enemy to Turkey. Germany was not 
thought much of. The first I heard of her using 
her influence was an act of confiscation of the 
lovely piece of ground on which the German 
Embassy was built. The property had belonged 
to an old Patrician Greek family, but was taken 
from them no doubt with the connivance of the 
Porte. The unfortunate owners tried hard to 
obtain something for this valuable property, but 
without success so far as I know. England was 
far ahead of any of the other European Powers 
in her influence in Turkey, as the Turks from 
all time had a liking for the English, so far as 
their creed and sympathies would allow them to 
have a liking for any Christian nation. Abdul 
Medjid's sympathy and liking for England 
naturally had its effects on the nation. Fond of 
reforms Medjid made several good laws, but 
unfortunately he had neither the knowledge nor 
the courage to see them carried through. His 
ministers were good and wise men, several of 
whom were staunch partisans of England, earnest 
patriots whose faults and errors, however gross 
they may have been, were not of the treasonable 
character of the present Young Turkey party who 
would ruin their country by selling it to Germany. 
I remember my brother telling me how pleased 
Abdul Medjid and his entourage were to hear of 
the projected visit of H.R.H. Edward, Prince of 
Wales. This visit was the great event of the 



day. The Grand Rue de Pera was repaved for 
the occasion, the streets cleaned, and a variety of 
oriental embellishments made, which added much 
to the natural beauty of the place. On the 
arrival of His Royal Highness the streets were 
lined with dense crowds of people of various races 
and costumes, which formed a picturesque 
ensemble not to be met with out of the Near 
East. The Embassy court was filled with British 
subjects anxious to welcome the beloved popular 
Prince, the future King of England. 

Lady Bulwer kindly asked me to stay at the 
Embassy during the visit of the Prince. I much 
enjoyed meeting the pleasant people the presence 
of His Royal Highness brought together at 
the Embassy. I liked to watch the dignified 
sympathy with which Sir Henry and Lady 
Bulwer kept up a pleasant cordiality in that 
cosmopolitan gathering of Turkish grandees, 
foreign ambassadors, and other distinguished 

The Prince himself, young, handsome, and 
full of life, gave the keynote to his host and 
hostess by his kind and thoughtful courtesy, and 
even insignificant I engaged part of his attention. 
A big dinner was to be given to the Turkish 
authorities in honour of the visit of His Royal 
Highness, and on talking over the arrangements, 
the Prince asked who was to be placed next to 
him hi table. Sir Henry, in accordance with 
etiquette, suggested the Grand Vizier and Ali 
Pasha, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Prince 
laughed, saying, "What can I have to say to 
those two fat old Turks ; better put Mrs Blunt 


next to me, with whom I could have a pleasant 

Poor Sir Henry, nonplussed, thought for a 
moment and saved the situation by saying that 
I could be placed next to the thinnest of the 
Pashas, so that a conversation could be carried on 
in front of him. 

The charm of the Prince of Wales' manner 
and conversation made a deep impression at 
Constantinople, and the whole population tried 
its best to get a glimpse of the future great King 
of England, Edward the Peacemaker. 



The Sultan and his people appeared gratified by 
the visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to their 
capital. The members of the Diplomatic Corps 
must have felt pleased to have the opportunity 
of exercising their pens on so unusual an event 
by stating to their respective governments their 
views and opinions on the apparent rayproche- 
ment between England and Turkey. Be this 
as it may, the exijitement of the visit over, the 
cosmopolitan society settled down to its usual 
current of life. Owing to its many privileges 
Constantinople was looked upon as a pleasant and 
interesting official post by European diplomatists. 
My husband's interesting reports on Philip- 
popolis, which was fast assuming importance as 
the headquarters of the Bulgarian national move- 
ment, helped our desire for a change, and resulted 
in the transfer of the Uskub agency to Philip- 
popoUs. In spite of the long tedium of the 
journey I decided to go to Smyrna in order to 
become acquainted with my husband's family. 
I took one of the Messageries Imperiales steamers, 
I believe the first fine liner that appeared in 
Turkish waters. The sea journey was very 



pleasant, and Smyrna appeared to me to be the 
gem of the Near East. I wonder how much 
of her will be left after this terrible war ! The 
Consulate was a fine, spacious building, well 
suited to my father-in-law's large family of five 
daughters and two sons. On my arrival, and 
during the time I spent at Smyrna, a fine British 
man-of-war was in port. The sight of the Flag 
filled my heart with joy by rousing the deep 
love and admiration I always felt for our naval 
service. During my short stay at Smyrna I 
was most kindly looked after by the captain 
and officers, who furnished me with a good hamper 
of provisions for my journey to Philippopolis. 

I took steamer to Cavalla, where our Consular 
agent, Mr Whitaker, and his charming young 
wife put me up while I waited for the arrival of 
Hussein Aga, our faithful Albanian guard. 

The country being infested by Albanian 
brigands at that time necessitated my asking 
my host for an escort ; but he could recommend 
none worth taking, and said the best plan would 
be for Hussein Aga to engage two or three of 
his compatriots as escort. Fortunately for me 
the three men Hussein wished to engage had a 
fight between themselves, and Hussein told them 
we should have no need of their services. This 
led to a quarrel with Hussein, which ended by 
the ruffians vowing to attack us next morning 
on the road. The outlook was not very cheerful, 
but we started off and after an hour's ride reached 
in safety the dangerous pass at the head of the 
valley. I began to feel more easy in my mind 
when we were nearly through the pass. The 


descent was stiff but we hastened on, when, on 
turning a sharp corner, we sighted three shepherd 
boys walking three fine horses up and down the 
road. On seeing us they put their fingers to 
their lips as a signal for silence, whilst with their 
left hands they pointed to a small tumulus or 
mound where the three brigands were waiting 
for us. Fortunately for us the men must have 
been drinking heavily, for now at the critical 
moment they were fast asleep. The shepherds 
signalled to us to gallop on, and by taking their 
advice I had my first safe escape from brigands. 
The rest of the journey was safely accomplished 
via Adrianople. Philippopolis seen from a distance 
is most effective. The upper part of the town 
rests on three small hills overlooking a fertile 
plain encircled by a graceful range of hills, with 
villages dotted here and there, and by well- 
conditioned monasteries. I believe this part 
was chiefly inhabited by the Paulician Sectaries, 
and higher up the mountains by the Pomaks. 
The Pomaks were a fine set of mountaineers 
who remained faithful to their creed (Moham- 
medan), yet who lived in perfect harmony with 
their Christian neighbours. My husband came 
out part of the way to meet me, looking very 
well and very happy to welcome me to our new 
home, and I was so rejoiced to see him that 
I felt impelled to cry aloud to the wide country 
to tell it of my joy. Mr Blunt was staying as 
a guest at the house of Mr Stoyanovitch, the 
chief member of the Bulgarian community. Both 
Mr and Mrs Stoyanovitch were extremely nice 
people, he, a much travelled Europeanised man. 


she, a sweet kind woman who spoke Greek 
perfectly, and they both gave me a hearty 
welcome. We stayed with them for three 
months till a house to our liking could be got. 
The change from desolate Uskub was very great, 
and I was very happy and enjoyed the small 
circle of acquaintances we made. Besides the 
native element, chiefly composed of Bulgarians 
and Greeks, there were two delightful American 
missionary families whose company 1 greatly 
appreciated, and whose earnest, simple lives I 
much admired. They had not been long in the 
country and did not know much about it, but 
the people of Philippopolis, more advanced than 
those of many other districts, had received them 
kindly and soon began to value their presence 
as advantageous to the country. Bulgaria owes 
a great debt of gratitude to the American Robert 
College at Constantinople, which helped to develop 
the intelligence of the students and roused senti- 
ments of patriotism among the Bulgarian youths, 
who subsequently served as beacons of light to 
the rest of the nation awakening from its trance 
of long years of apathy. Besides Robert College, 
schools for boys and girls were opened by the 
American missionaries in some of the principal 
towns of Bulgaria, where a liberal education, free 
from religious pressure, was given. The good 
work these institutes did was little known outside 
their own spheres of activity, nor was it sufficiently 
appreciated by the unintellectual sluggard masses 
of the people. It will take a long time for the 
Bulgarian nation to shake off the innate barbarism 
of its nature, and it has led rather than followed 


the Huns in their inhuman treatment of the 
Serbians. The cruelty and intolerance of 
Bulgarians are all the more regrettable since they 
possess certain good qualities, but they have not 
the capacity to use them to advantage. Unfortun- 
ately, like the rest of the races in the Near East, 
the sense of honour and rectitude are the least 
developed of their virtues. 

Subsequent to my husband's transfer to 
Philippopolis some of the other Great Powers 
nominated Consular agents. Educated European 
influence had always a good effect in these semi- 
barbarous countries which make up the Balkan 
States, in spite of political outrages and national 
rivalries. Mr Blunt's influence became very great 
among the Turkish and Christian elements, owing 
to his principle never to swerve from English recti- 
tude. He was both loved and feared, and did a 
great deal of good wherever he went, and 1 do not 
remember his failing in any case he undertook to 
set right. On the whole we were happy and 
comfortable in Philippopolis. Owing to a con- 
siderable amount of commercial enterprise with 
Vienna we could get anything we wanted. Living 
not being expensive we were able to keep two fine 
horses and to go about the country around us. On 
one occasion I profited by my husband's absence 
to go for a couple of weeks to Asian, a renowned 
watering-place about a day's journey from Philip- 
popohs. In its time of prosperity under the 
Romans it must have been a most lovely resort. 
Now alas ! its numerous mineral baths are roofless 
and neglected, yet the gushing fountains of healing 
waters ceaselessly pour into the deep swimming- 


baths. These baths reminded me of abandoned 
orphans in a wilderness, there were none to care 
for them but a few Turkish peasants from the 
neighbouring village. I started for this place 
accompanied by Mr Stoyanovitch, my two blackies, 
and the faithful Hussein Aga. The road was 
mountainous and deserted, the country though 
much neglected was well favoured by nature. 
Half way on our journey we came to a guard- 
house half smothered beneath aromatic bushes. 
Mr Stoyanovitch suggested that we should call a 
halt and give our horses a rest. No sooner were 
we dismounted than an armed Albanian appeared, 
soon followed by six other armed men. They 
surrounded us, stared at me with their bloodshot 
eyes, salaamed, and asked Mr Stoyanovitch for 
some tobacco, which he hastily offered to the chief, 
who, we noticed, was minus one of his fingers. 
When Mr Stoyanovitch noticed the defect he 
became quite white and said to me in French, 
" For God's sake, get on to your horse as quick as 
you can." I did so, trying to look as cool and 
unconcerned as I could, when the bravo minus a 
finger came towards me and took me by the arm. 
I thought for a moment he meant to murder me, 
or worse still to take me as a prisoner, but with a 
smile on his cruel face he helped me on to my 
horse. I began to breathe again when that horrid 
hand was withdrawn. On a signal to his men they 
fell back, he salaamed again, thanked Mr Stoyano- 
vitch for the tobacco, and signed to us that by his 
leave we might move on. We walked our horses 
in silence for a few yards to show confidence or 
bravery, and then galloped as fast as we could. 


After a mile or so we drew rein, and Mr Stoyano- 
vitch coming near to me asked me if I knew the 
man who had helped me. " That ruffian," said he, 
** is the most cruel and reckless brigand in the 
neighbourhood. I thought he was still in prison 
for the murder of one of our Beys in Philippopolis. 
.The Bey's wife, in order to try and save her 
husband, bit the brigand's finger so badly that it 
had to be cut off. He must have bribed the 
authorities and got out of prison and joined his 
old band of brigands, or may have formed the new 
one we have just met. How those ruffians have 
allowed us to get off scot-free is more than I 
can say ; perhaps it was your youth and bravery 
that impressed the chief" 

" Or rather," said I, " the Albanian superstition 
regarding the ill-luck that attacks on women 

Albanian brigandage was much to the fore in 
those days, and crimes were committed in all parts 
of the country with reckless courage and with 
disdain of Turkish authority. The following 
tragedy happened subsequent to my husband's 
transfer to Adrianople. 

Seven or eight brigands attacked a caravan of 
seventy persons bound for Philippopolis some few 
hours' journey from their destination. Mr and 
Mrs Merion, two of our American Missionary 
friends, were among the party. Since the object 
of the brigands was wholesale robbery regardless 
of loss of life, pistols and yatagans came at once 
into use. Half a dozen people who tried a hope- 
less defence of the party were killed, Mr Merion 
being amongst the number. In the confusion 


that followed, the brigands disappeared with their 
booty, the survivors of the caravan hurried away 
as fast as they could, leaving behind Mrs Merion 
who waited beside the body of her dead husband 
in a desolate place under a burning sun, waiting 
for help from Philippopolis. In the present terrible 
epock when lives are lost under most tragic con- 
ditions this case may fail to inspire the sympathy 
it deserves for the brave American wife. When 
help came from Phihppopolis she got into the 
carriage with her husband's remains, and a few 
hours after reaching home died after giving birth 
to a little girl. In the absence of any American 
agency in those parts Mr Blunt received a telegram 
from the American Legation asking him to attend 
to the matter and to bring the assassins to justice. 
It was fortunate that at that time Kibrisly 
Mehemet Pasha, ex-Grand Vizier, had been sent 
to Adrian ople as Governor-General. Kibrisly was 
one of the sterling officials in Turkey, well known 
for his capacity in action and the fulfilment of 
his duties. As soon as Mr Blunt received the 
telegram he went to the Governor- General and 
with him took the steps necessary to secure the 
arrest and punishment of the brigands. Hearing 
that the latter were hiding in Philippopolis my 
husband immediately ordered posthorses to take 
him there. He declined to take me with him that 
day, but the next day I received a telegram from 
him saying that if I still wished to come he 
authorised me to ask for an escort from the 
Governor. This looked to me likely to be 
an exciting adventure, so I sent a note to the 
secretary of the Governor, a nice man and a 


friend of ours, to come and see me. He came 
at once, but on hearing the message I wanted 
him to convey to the Governor, namely, that I 
wanted an escort, he was amazed and said it was 
impossible for the Governor to let me have one as 
every trusty man of the police had been sent to 
hunt for the brigands, so I must give up all idea 
of my enterprise. Seeing I could get no assist- 
ance from that quarter and determined to go 
if I possibly could, I said half in earnest, half 
in play, '' Kiamil Eifendi, since you say His 
Excellency has no reliable escort to give me I 
will try to secure one among the Albanian cut- 
throats, who, once engaged in my service, are 
sure to prove faithful." I noticed that he did not 
think I was in earnest, but as soon as he had left 
I called Hussein Aga and asked him if he could 
get three of his compatriots as an escort. I added, 
" I do not wish to know who they are, or where 
they come from. Provided you guarantee my 
safety under their care, I will take all the responsi- 
bility of their engagement." Hussein's face ex- 
panded with joy and he said, " Very well, EfFendim," 
and withdrew. Next morning three villainous- 
looking Albanians swaggered into the Consulate 
for orders. One look sufficed to show that though 
only in the prime of life, each had been through 
some severe fights. Next day I started under 
Hussein's and their care. Close to the half-way 
station I noticed the mutilated body of a traveller 
in a ditch who had probably lost his life in conse- 
quence of the valuable horse he was riding, and 
which his assassins had carried off. I stopped the 
night at the Governor's house, where I had an 


excellent Turkish dinner, dressed Turkish fashion, 
which I had to eat with my fingers. Next morn- 
ing, bearing in mind the horrid sight in the ditch, 
I asked for one or two policemen to join my escort. 

*' Turkish policemen," said my Albanians, " are 
like a set of frightened flies who disappear at the 
first sign of danger." "No, madam," added the 
spokesman, "trust to us, we undertake to leave 
you safe and sound at your destination before the 
sun sets." Thus assured, I continued my journey 
and reached the outskirts of Philippopolis before 
sunset ; here my escort drew up at the roadside 
and salaamed. I asked them why they would 
go no further, but they said it was best they 
should leave me there. 

Next morning Mr Blunt received a telegram 
saying the brigands he was seeking had left 
Philippopolis and were hiding at Adrian ople. 
Shortly afterwards I heard from my husband 
that the escort which had taken me to Philip- 
popolis was part of the band which had murdered 
Mr Merion and the others ; consequently since 
Hussein Aga had engaged the escort he must 
return at once to Adrian ople. I confess I felt 
quite nervous on Hussein's account, but on 
reflection I felt his part in the matter was only in 
obedience to my orders, which were in conformity 
with the notice I had given to Kiamil Effendi 
of the measures I meant to take, since the 
Governor could not give me the assistance I 
needed. I offered to attend at the court, but I 
heard nothing further of the matter. Owing to 
the energetic action of both the Governor and 
Mr Blunt, the whole band was caught and the 


murderers punished according to their deserts. 
As regards my escort, the part they had taken in 
the business was merely to help the assassins to 
get out of the country, and for their trouble they 
got a few years' penal servitude. This illustrates 
the state of insecurity existing in the country, 
owing to Turkish neglect and maladministration. 
Kibrisly Mehemet Pasha's prompt and determined 
action in the Merion case, at the instigation of 
my husband, cleared the country roads of brigands 
for some years, and confined Albanian ravages to 
the surrounding Christian towns and villages. 
My husband twice received special thanks from 
the President of the United States of America 
for his great services to the American missionaries 
in Albania. 



In a wandering life like ours there was always a 
certain amount of regret in parting from kind 
friends we were not likely to meet again, and in 
leaving behind such lares and penates as could 
not be carried away. Such feelings of regret 
were present with me when my husband and I 
dismantled our comfortable little home at Philip- 
popolis. I much regretted leaving Bulgaria before 
I had had the opportunity of completing my 
collection of lovely old Chinese porcelain. Much 
of this porcelain had been brought from China 
via India a century and a half previously, for 
the benefit of the wealthy Dere Beys, whose 
descendants, reduced to abject poverty, were 
ready to part with these treasures for a mere 
trifle. I still have a few pieces left, but one of 
the finest I possessed I had the honour of 
presenting to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh 
when he visited Salonika. 

Philippopolis was rich in Roman antiquities. 
The wife of the Austrian Consul, a fat old lady 
who was an expert in antiquities, found many 
treasures. She drove about the country in a 



rickety country cart laden with valuable finds, 
looking more antiquated in her shabby old dress 
and coal-scuttle bonnet than many of the things 
she succeeded in finding. This lady and her 
husband lived in miserable surroundings, unsuited 
to the position of an Austrian Consular' agent 
who, if I remember rightly, was the sole foreign 
representative at the time of my husband's transfer 
to Adrianople. 

Our packing accomplished, we had to decide 
on the means of transit for our luggage and 
furniture. My husband suggested that it could go 
on a raft down the river Tunja, while I thought 
that something of the nature of a Noah's ark 
would be better. To this my husband agreed. 
Thereupon the ark was ordered, and when ready 
sailed under the care of our Armenian factotum, 
flying a glorious British flag, which I had made 
as a protection against Albanian looting parties. 
The ark started a week before our departure and 
arrived safe and sound ten days after we had 
reached Adrianople. But there was no dove to 
warn us of its safe arrival ! The first box I 
unpacked was a big oblong one in which I had 
placed my linen with a few muslin wrappers on 
the top. I had covered these over with a white 
sack which I had not known contained a little 
rice. To my amazement, when I opened the 
box I found, instead of the wrappers I was looking 
for, a lovely emerald growth of young rice plants, 
so sweet and fresh looking that I plunged my 
face into it and enjoyed its fragrant perfume. 
The rice, evidently favoured by the soft, damp 
temperature had burst forth, and its rootlets had 


found their way through the loose texture of the 
muslin wrappers. 

At the time of my husband's nomination to 
Adrianople (1862) the place still retained a 
semblance of its glory as the first capital of 
Turkey-in-Europe. The celebrated Mosque of 
Sultan Selim is there. The main part of this 
imposing building is crowned by an enormous 
cupola, which almost rivals that of St Sophia at 
Constantinople, and has four fine minarets, one 
at each corner, each with three galleries. Some 
idea of its size and grandeur may be formed from 
the number of its windows ; the thousandth 
window, by the way, had been left incomplete 
by the Greek architect, who had been warned that 
its completion would cost him his life as, had 
it been finished, it would have brought ill-luck. 
This beautiful Mosque stands in one of the 
elevated parts of the Turkish quarter of the town. 
There was also the Teke, a sacred building of 
one or two orders of dervishes. It was in these 
sacred surroundings that one of the important 
local officials had built a very fine konak, out of 
the dishonest profits of his administration. The 
Governor, on discovering the frauds, confiscated 
the konak and ordered it to be sold by public 
auction, so that its price might to some extent 
recoup the State for the monies this man had 
taken. But this official was a cunning fox, who, 
in connivance with his friends, arranged that the 
price of the konak should be kept low and the 
house be bought by one of them, in order that 
it might be transferred to him later on. Our 
friend, the secretary to the Governor, Kiamil 



EfFendi, on learning of this plot, came to ask us 
whether we would like him to secure the konak 
in question for the Consulate. He highly praised 
it as a bargain and a rare find. We thanked him, 
and I asked his leave to visit the konak before 
the purchase was decided on. '* That, EfFendim," 
said he, "cannot be done for many reasons, but 
trust to my taste and you will have no cause for 
regret." I bowed my tacit consent whilst I 
considered how I could get to see it. On the 
principle that " Where there is a will there is a 
way," I concluded that there was no use in my 
having studied Turkish manners and customs if 
I could not transform myself into a perfect 
Turkish hanoum. I thereupon painted my 
cheeks, blackened my eyebrows till they met over 
my nose, cut my nails short and stained them 
with red ink. I got a well-fitting Turkish lady's 
costume with veil, cloak, and yellow slippers 
complete, and thus dressed I defied recognition 
as an Englishwoman, and with Hussein Aga's 
wife and an old woman I walked the length of the 
main street, in considerable trepidation lest I 
should let drop one of the yellow slippers from 
off my feet, an act which is a crime in a Turkish 
lady since it denotes ill- breeding. On reaching 
the konak without any misadventure the old 
woman knocked at the door and begged for 
admission, as the hanoum from the country, 
pointing to me, desired to visit so fine a konak, 
the like of which she had never seen. *' Buyurun, 
buyurun" (Welcome, welcome), called out the 
lady at the top of the stairs. I stepped out of 
the yellow slippers and went upstairs with all the 


dignity I possessed, kissed the hand of the elderly 
looking lady of the house, salaamed to the younger 
ones, and looking round the spacious hall we 
had reached, I puffed out my lips in the 
most approved Turkish style three times, and 
said, " Mash Allah, Mash Allah, what a nice fine 
konak you possess, may Allah give you long life 
to enjoy it." " Ish Allah, Ish Allah, let us hope 
so, let us hope so," answered the good lady with 
a sad smile on her face ; '* would you like to see 
the rest of the house ? " I gladly accepted her 
kind offer and went all over the premises, noticing 
everything with joy and delight, especially the 
beautiful Turkish bath built in marble. After 
partaking of a cup of coffee and cigarettes I bid 
these hanoums good-bye, got once more into the 
yellow shppers which this time I stumbled in, 
in my happy agitation over the success of my 
enterprise. Next day Kiamil Effendi came to 
tell us that the konak was ours, and that I might 
go and see it when I liked. "That has already 
been done, my good friend," said I. He stared 
at me, and then complimented me on my English 
energy and savoiv faire. 

Both my husband and I were pleased with our 
new home, but our neighbours were not so pleased 
to find a Ghiaour (Infidel) family settled in their 
midst. Since, however, we both spoke excellent 
Turkish, and showed due respect to the customs 
and habits of our neighbours, we soon became 
good friends and remained such during the seven 
years we spent in Adrianople. There was a coarse 
wooden screen outside one of the drawing-room 
windows which 1 wished to have removed, as it 


blocked out not only air and light but a pretty 
view over the Imperial Park and Seraglio. This 
window had been blocked because it overlooked 
the courtyard of a Turkish house just beneath 
ours, and without it the ladies of the house could 
not have made use of their court, as someone 
from our window might have looked down and 
seen them. I bore the nuisance for a while in 
the hope of getting rid of it some way or another. 
Fortune favoured me, subsequent to a visit the 
Governor paid me. Knowing the right he had 
to object to the removal of the screen if I directly 
applied to him I said nothing about it, but as 
soon as he had left I told Hussein Aga to knock 
it down with the help of the groom during the 
night, and should the neighbours make a fuss 
about it, on the supposition that it was done by 
order of the Ghiaour Pasha, as Kibrisly Mehemet 
was called by the Turks, he was to diplomatise 
with the men and send the women up to me. 
Matters turned out just as I had expected. The 
men quickly calmed down, and so did the women 
when I took them into the drawing-room and 
showed them a big immovable sofa with a high 
back which I had had placed across the window, 
making access to the window impossible unless 
by climbing over the sofa. The women were so 
satisfied that no one could approach close enough 
to the window to overlook their private grounds 
that I heard nothing more of the matter. 

In those days, living in Turkey had many 
advantages for those who understood the Turks 
and knew how to deal with them. In Adrianople 
the Turks were far more liberal and accommodat- 

A house-warmikg/eAhIey^ .^^ r: ; hbi^ 

ing than those in Brussa. During all the years 
we spent there I do not remember any acts of 
violence or brutality either to the European or 
Christian residents. 

Adrianople was a fairly large town, and ex- 
tended from the region of the Mosque of Sultan 
Selim in a straight line to the walled part called 
the Frank quarter where the Europeans (Greeks, 
Armenians, French, etc.), lived, and then spread 
again right and left separating the Turkish from 
the Christian quarters. The country was fertile 
and well wooded, and well watered by the fine 
rivers, the Tunja and the Maritza. Altogether 
it was a pretty town, well placed and pleasant 
to live in outside the Frank quarter. 

Sultan Selim, whose Mosque dominated the 
town, had been an enlightened and beneficent 
ruler. Among other things, he had inaugurated 
the merciful care of mad persons, for whom he 
built a fine institution, Timarhane or House of 
Health, well placed and airy, and had left a set 
of regulations for the care of such persons far 
in advance at that time of many countries ahead 
of Turkey in ordinary civilisation, such, for 
instance, as to the good feeding, the providing of 
music, and the outdoor exercise of the inmates. 

Soon after we were settled in our lovely house 
we gave a house-warming to which everybody 
who was anybody was invited, ie,, the Governor 
and staff*, the members of the Consular Corps, 
the officers of the Cossack regiment stationed at 
Adrianople, many from the Frank quarter which 
included some Greek and Armenian families ; but 
whilst the latter were dressed in their best, the 


tout ensemble looked antiquated and far from 
brilliant. A few of the men had white ties and 
gloves and knew how to dance. Some of the 
elderly ladies were very much under the control 
of their father confessors and did not venture to 
wear evening dress, whilst the dowager chaperons 
felt so much out of their element that when some 
hot consomme was handed round shortly before 
the party broke up, some said, ** Merci, mais nous 
avons pris la soupe cheznous." The young and 
pretty ones were more at their ease. When I 
asked the Governor, who had been a long time 
in England, what he thought of the company he 
smiled and said, " C'est bon pour remplir nos salons." 
We were, however, not quite devoid of social 
stars among the Consular Corps, the Cossack 
regiment chiefly composed of Polish refugees of 
high class, and a few others including some 
English people who had found their way to 
Adrianople. All these formed an agreeable 
circle of friends who managed to live happily 
by getting up plays, concerts, and picnics, hunting 
with the harriers in the summer, and in winter 
by organising skating parties. For myself, I 
never felt more delighted than when I heard 
from my old friend Mrs Suchodolska that 
she was coming to live with her father, General 
Tchaikovsky. We became inseparable friends, 
and many were the happy times we had together. 

Of course, adventures of one kind and another 
happened from time to time to break the monotony 
of our lives. Young as I was, experience had 
already taught me not only to be cool and brave 
in any sudden emergency, but to try and find out 

A FIRE 103 

ways and means to lessen or avert any menacing 
danger. During one of Mr Blunt's absences from 
home, when all the servants had gone to a '' Festa " 
at the other end of the town, my sister-in-law, 
Lucy Blunt, an old Constantinople friend, and I 
were the only people in the house. About mid- 
night we heard a violent knocking at the gate. 
I rushed to the window and looked out thinking 
my husband had returned, but instead 1 saw a 
turbaned old Turk who called out, "EfFendim, 
EfFendim, your house is on fire on the other side." 
I rushed to the room opposite which overlooked a 
yard where brooms were made, hundreds of which 
were stacked against a wall close to our house. 
The flames from the broom-yard nearly reached 
the window I was looking from, and there was a 
veritable firework display going on from the bits 
of the brooms which were alight and were blown 
upwards, and fortunately in a direction from the 
house, by the strong wind which was fanning the 
flames. I went down to the old Turk and begged 
him to keep guard, and only to let in about ten 
of the neighbours known to him who would help 
to get the Are under. I then turned on the water 
in the bath, and collected all the buckets I could 
find and put them under the various taps to fill. 
I got a long ladder and placed it against the 
burning wall. By this time the men had come. 
I placed several of them on the wall, showed the 
rest where the buckets and water were, and 
directed them to fill the buckets and pass them 
to the men on the wall. Having got this all 
going I went upstairs and found my sister-in-law 
and our other guest quite dazed. On learning 

104 A FLOOD 

what was the matter Lucy became most excited, 
got a pillow and a pair of slippers, and implored 
me to leave the house. As for our guest, he 
quite collapsed ; but this perhaps was not to be 
wondered at as he had experienced a serious fire 
in his own house when several members of his 
family and the English governess had all been 
burned to death. However, he went off for me to 
General Tchaikovsky Pasha who lived close by, and 
got him to send some of his Cossacks to help in 
pulling down the burning part and in extinguish- 
ing the fire. The efforts I had made and the 
help of the men succeeded in saving the house. 
Curiously enough, my husband could not sleep 
that night feeling that some calamity was menac- 
ing our home. Next morning to his surprise and 
relief he received a telegram from me telling him 
of the fire and of our safety. . 

A few months later a very severe storm with 
much rain, which ceaselessly poured for several 
days, caused the rivers to overflow their banks and 
flooded the low-lying country, so that the houses 
and cottages in the lower part of the town were 
completely cut off from communication with the 
rest of the town. The anxious inhabitants watched 
for the boats which were employed in bringing 
bread and other necessaries to them. The sight 
of the flooded country was so unusual that Mrs 
Suchodolska and I decided to take a boat and see 
the Imperial Park which was transformed into an 
immense lake. It was curious to see the old trees 
giving shelter to myriads of birds chirruping, 
hopping about, and fighting for places of safety. 
The sight was so absorbing that we did not notice 


that the current was taking us within the bed of 
the river, and that the boat was getting beyond 
the power of the boatman to control it. A sudden 
call of alarm on his part made us join his call for 
aid, when, fortunately, a rope was flung to us from 
another boat which quickly pulled us out of danger 
and brought us to the gates of the old Seraglio 
where we landed. A fine flight of marble steps 
had usually to be negotiated when entering the 
Seraglio from this side, but now all but the top- 
most step was under water. We went into the 
old reception hall which formerly had been a place 
of much grandeur, where the Sultan's throne, 
minus its jewelled ornaments, looked like a shade 
of its former magnificent self, lamenting the glory 
of times gone by. Opposite the throne stood the 
curious Imperial cage, solidly railed all round, in 
which the heirs to the throne used to be placed 
when receptions were given to Foreign Am- 
bassadors, who used to sit on the then luxuriously 
covered benches which ran round the walls. The 
chief beauty of this well-proportioned hall lay in 
the exquisite old tiles of all kinds and designs, 
which covered the walls and floor, in which the 
colours, grave and gay, blended harmoniously. 
The whole Seraglio had unfortunately been 
neglected and allowed to fall into decay, and 
during the last Turko- Russian War the ruins 
were burned down. There was a graceful tower, 
approached from one corner of the reception hall, 
where the Guardian of the place, an old Janissary 
with many scars on his shrivelled face, denoting his* 
old profession of cut-throat in the glorious days of 
his youth, lived. According to his statements he 


nightly conversed with the ghosts who frequently 
appeared to him and kept him company. He 
spoke of the ghosts and their doings with such 
authority that he almost made us believe that the 
tales we listened to were of real persons. 

One of the last of the Dere Beys who had lived 
in Adrianople and had had jurisdiction over a vast 
area, evidently had a keener desire for sanitary 
reforms than his predecessors, since he viewed with 
disgust a great mound of decaying manure and 
refuse which had accumulated during some years 
in front of his palace. The Dere Bey expressed 
his dislike of this evil-smelling and fly-accumulat- 
ing mass in the hearing of one of his attendants 
who noted his master's complaint. This attendant, 
a small, thin man, on his own initiative went all 
over the town and ordered men and boys to 
assemble with spades, baskets, and carts in front 
of the palace at a fixed hour that night when he 
set them to work to remove this immense heap. 
By the morning the mound had been completely 
cleared aw^ay, and the Dere Bey on leaving his 
rooms noticed with delight and surprise that the 
festering heap had disappeared. On inquiring 
who had accomplished this great feat, the small, 
lean, delicate-looking attendant salaamed and said, 
"EfFendimiz, I did it to please my Lord and 

The Dere Bey gave vent to a burst of incredu- 
lous laughter and said, " You ! You ! In future 
your name shall be Dagh Deveran " (Remover of 

A reputation for sagacity and acts of justice 
soon became associated with Dagh Deveran's name. 


People from all parts appealed to his unerring 
judgment to settle their quarrels till he rose to 
great distinction and finally occupied his master's 
position. Among those who came to seek his help 
in the settlement of a dispute were three Pomak 
giants from the mountains. When these men 
were ushered into a large room the only person 
present was a lean, shrivelled individual who, with 
crossed legs, sat gathered up in the corner of a sofa. 
The Pomaks looked all round and asked for Dagh 
Deveran, the Remover of Mountains. 

" I am he," said the little man, drawing a mental 
comparison between his size and that of the appli- 
cants for his judgment. 

" You," said the astonished Pomaks, " why you 
could not remove a bok (a bit of dung), and you 
enjoy the name of Remover of Mountains ! " 

" Yes," answered Dagh Deveran, ** it was an act 
of mine that earned me the name, and I have since 
gained a reputation for levelling human disputes, 
and now I am ready to listen to yours." 

My sister-in-law, Lucy Blunt, stayed with us 
for some time and was a great addition to our 
lively set as she was young, pretty, and clever. 
She was much admired by many people, especially 
by two extremely pleasant Russian Consuls. One 
of the Consuls had to leave Adrianople suddenly 
and was succeeded by the second, who came to 
Lucy one day and begged permission to tell her 
that his predecessor had bade him come and ask 
her on his behalf to marry him. "And now, 
Mademoiselle," he added, " since I have given 
you the message with which I was entrusted, I 
would ask you to marry me." Lucy, however, was 


half engaged to a charming old man, a Mr Taylor, 
Consul at Erzerum, whom she had never seen but 
whom she knew through her brother George, who 
was Mr Taylor's assistant ; and whom she subse- 
quently married. I do not know that I should 
have mentioned this family incident had it not 
been for the realisation of a curious prophecy 
about her. An old Russian soldier, subsequent 
to one of the wars between his country and Turkey, 
had deserted, and had lived for thirty years in a 
marshy, swampy little island in one of the rivers. 
Our Cossack friends having discovered this hermit 
got up a picnic in the vicinity of his abode, and in 
answer to their whistles he came out of his lair, 
much like the old Russian bear he looked. He 
was said to have the gift of clairvoyance. When 
Lucy heard this she at once extended her hand ; 
the old man looked at it and said, "Vous, Made- 
moiselle, vous allez vous marier deux fois, vous 
batterez votre premier mari et vous serez battue 
par le second." 

The prophecy came true. Good old Mr Taylor 
was like wax in her hands and did all she demanded 
of him, whilst her second husband, a Russian of 
high position, was a villain of the first order, and 
tormented the poor girl nearly to death up to the 
time he died. 



In 1864 we had a temporary break-up of our home 
at Adrianople, as Mr Blunt was called to Belgrade, 
the capital of Serbia, to act as temporary Consul- 
General while Mr Longworth went on leave. This 
post was a great advance for my husband, and we 
gladly undertook the long and tedious journey on 
horseback over the Babouna Pass, through the 
Iron Gates of the Danube, by Kezanlik, the world- 
famed garden of roses and of love, where the 
Bulgarian youths meet their sweethearts in the 
spring, and passed the gruesome Tower of human 
skulls. This tower, which stood on territory 
recently and temporarily acquired by the Turks 
close to the Serbian border, served as a lesson and 
menace to the Serbs, and was for a long time a 
daily demonstration to the Serbs of the brutality of 
the Turks. I believe one of Serbia's first acts on 
her liberation was to pull down that awful tower, 
for when I passed the same spot some years later all 
trace of this horrible sight had disappeared. We 
started on 6th November and our party consisted 
of my husband and myself, a Russian Consul, who 
wais my husband's colleague, my two little insepar- 



able *' blackies," who were now young women, our 
faithful guard, Hussein Aga, and a boy who . had 
been rescued from slavery. The continuous down- 
pour of rain during this, the wet season of the 
year, and the want of proper roads made it very 
hard work for the posthorses, as they often had to 
cross gushing torrents and muddy swamps. How- 
ever, we reached Sophia, the capital of modern 
Bulgaria, safely, and were hospitably received by 
the Hodjabachi or headman of the town. Unlike 
Philippopolis, Sophia at that time did not look like 
a progressing populous town, nor did its inhabi- 
tants, a good number of whom honoured us with a 
visit, seem bright or in any way disposed to be 
influenced by modern ideas. 

None of this company of the elite who came 
to lay their grievances before Mr Blunt and the 
Russian Consul appeared conversant with any 
foreign language but Turkish, which did not 
please the Russian Consul, as he would have 
preferred to talk with them in private, but as it 
was he had to make use of an interpreter. When 
the Russian Consul heard me encourage these 
people with hopes of emancipation from the 
Turkish yoke he became annoyed and begged me 
not to foster ideas of rebellion, saying that Russia 
already did a great deal for Bulgaria and she 
preferred to do things in her own way, from which 
later on she reaped nothing but ingratitude and 
treachery. At that time Bulgarians appeared to 
have no knowledge of European civilisation or 
usage for its productions. The only European 
article I noticed was a baby's feeding-bottle, not in 
use for the purpose for which it had been designed. 


but filled with slevovitzha, a spirit made in Serbia 
from plums, and passed round to all the guests, 
who each took two or three sucks at the anything 
but milk-like contents. When our turn came we 
refused with thanks. 

Extreme surprises often greet one in uncivilised 
countries. When I was about to retire to bed 
that night the lady of the house asked me whether 
I would prefer to have my milk and rosewater 
bath before going to bed or in the morning. 
Amazed at the offer of such a luxury I could not 
help asking her whether Bulgarian ladies were in 
the habit of indulging in- such baths. My hostess 
in her turn looked greatly surprised and said, 
" Oh, dear, no ! We make better use of our milk 
by drinking it, by making cheese and yaghourt, one 
of the best of foods, which makes our men strong 
and healthy ; but some time ago two English ladies 
stayed with us and both took these baths, so we 
concluded it must be an English custom ; besides, 
madame," added she, "we are not used to baths 
and seldom indulge in one, except when we go to 
the mineral baths now, alas, ruined, which are 
found all over our country." 

At Kezanhk, that pretty, clean, interesting 
Bulgarian town, noted all over the world for its 
attar of roses, a comic adventure befel us. Our 
Russian friend proposed that our entry into this 
town should be in state, in order that our import- 
ance might be impressed on the inhabitants. 
Calling up the postilion he ordered him to utter 
his shrillest whistle-call in order to announce the 
arrival of distinguished travellers. In a few 
moments all the windows and doors in the main 


street were crowded by the inhabitants, anxious to 
find out who the arrivals could be, a subject of 
great interest to them owing to the near approach 
of the great fair that took place each year in the 
neighbourhood. The fair used to last a week 
when a vast amount of merchandise exchanged 
hands, and the variety of people and costumes met 
there was a sight not to be forgotten. One of the 
attractions this year was to be a company of tight- 
rope dancers. Seeing the arrival into the town of 
strangers in this imposing manner, a loud voice 
called out gaily, — 

*' Here comes the company of tight-rope 
dancers, here comes the famous company, includ- 
ing two black girls in hats." The news spread all 
down the street with electric-like rapidity, with 
additional, if not flattering remarks on our personal 

My husband and I were greatly amused ; not 
so the Russian Consul, who was furious at our 
being mistaken for a group of entertainers, and 
tried to lash with his whip the surprised and 
indignant villagers. The postilion, seeing the 
unpleasant turn the joke was taking, urged his 
horses to a gallop and saved the situation. 

I was not sorry when we sighted the grand 
Babouna mountain, towering over a small village 
nestled at its foot, where I hoped we should get 
a good night's rest. On arriving at the village 
the owner of a nice-looking house came out and 
kindly offered us hospitality, which we gratefully 
accepted. I went upstairs, where a room comfort- 
ably carpeted and with a bright fire burning in 
the grate was put at my service by an exceedingly 


pretty young girl, who went by the name of 
Nivesta (bride), who helped me to take off my 
wraps and made me comfortable by the fire, when 
the door opened and Hussein Aga came in in a 
mysterious manner to tell me that the Bey had 
given orders that in an hour's time we must all 
be in readiness to start again. The postilion 
refused to attempt the narrow pass by night, 
owing to a recent snowstorm, and Mr Blunt and 
the Russian Consul coming in, we discussed the 
matter and decided not to start before the 
morning. After a good dinner, when Mr Blunt 
and the others were settled by the fire smoking 
and talking, I slipped out of the room and went 
to find the pretty Nivesta, who was not only 
pretty but bright and intelligent. She wanted 
to know all about our habits and customs, 
particularly as regards dress. As we were both 
much the same size I proposed an exchange of 
costume to see the effect. Delighted with the 
suggestion she brought out some of her best 
clothes and soon transformed me into a Bulgarian 
Nivesta, while dressed in my tea-gown she became 
a pretty English girl with her hair hanging down 
her back. While we were enjoying the fun we 
heard clapping of hands from the opposite room, 
and the Russian Consul calling for a basin and 
jug to wash his hands. I took up the needed 
things, and with all the modest seriousness I 
could assume walked up to our Russian friend, 
while the Nivesta stood near by. The Consul, 
whilst washing his hands cast a casual look at me, 
then put his monocle in his eye and began to 
examine me more attentively, calling out at the 



same time to my husband to come up and see a 
young Bulgarian girl with soft white hands, and 
with features that could not belong to that race. 
" What can she be, arid from where can she have 
come," said he. As my husband came up my 
eyes met his, and we both burst out laughing and 
revealed the mystery to our astonished friend, 
who apologised for his mistake. It is quite a 
remarkable thing what a difference an exchange 
of clothes can make in a person. The Nivesta 
in my clothes looked transformed into an English 
girl, in spite of the fact that she had a slight 
touch of the racial defects of wide nose, and eyes 
set wide apart. 

We started on our journey next morning, soon 
to find some difficulty owing to the snow, which 
got deeper as we approached the dangerous 
parts of the Babouna Pass. Owing to the drifts 
of snow, which sometimes reached the horses' 
girths, we decided to get off our horses and to 
walk or crawl across the narrow bridge of rocks, 
precipitous on both sides, over which we had to 
go. I fixed my riding habit under my arms, 
put the sleeves of my jacket inside my gloves, 
and lay flat on the snow and crawled quietly 
across the dangerous pass. In spite of the 
discomfort and the danger, I greatly enjoyed the 
lovely views as I looked down both sides of 
the pass, on the rich woods and fertile country 
in its variegated autumn colouring, and on 
the hills and dales, carpeted with soft emerald 
growth slightly sprinkled with snow glistening 
in the sun. 

On entering Serbian territory I was struck by 


the poor appearance of the small villages which 
were situated some distance from the frontier. 
On inquiring the cause of the bareness of the 
country and of the scarcity of cottages or villages, I 
was told that the vicinity of neighbours provoked 
discords and fights, and that that part of Serbia 
was too near to the Turks to make it wise for 
Serbs to live there. 

I greatly rejoiced when we finally reached 
Belgrade and were warmly welcomed by my 
dear sister, Mrs Longworth, who was delighted 
to see us, as we were to see her, after long years 
of separation. 

The Consulate at Belgrade was large and 
commodious, and I was delighted with the rooms 
assigned to us. A small Turkish force was still 
in occupation of the grand old Fort of Belgrade, 
whose sole duty appeared to consist in raising and 
lowering the Turkish flag on its four sides on 
** festas " as a testimony of Turkey's lingering power 
in Serbia. After I had been in Belgrade for some 
time the Pasha in command of the Fort, whose 
harem consisted of his wife and daughter, the 
latter a victim to ill-health, which neither prayers, 
amulets, nor the skill of the family doctor could 
alleviate, asked me whether I would accompany 
his wife and daughter to Vienna, so that they 
might have the benefit of the opinion of the 
medical specialists there. I accepted at once, 
glad to be able to be of use to these sweet 
helpless ladies too terrified to go by themselves. 
It amused me at the same time to become the 
chaperon of two nervous Turkish women, perhaps 
the very first of their nation who had ever visited 


a European capital. I soon arranged a costume 
that disguised their nationality more or less, as 
well as a costume for myself that looked something 
like theirs. The family doctor, a handsome 
Slav, vain of his personality and importance, 
accompanied us. It was Easter time when we 
started, and all the people of the country-side 
appeared to be in gala costume, and to have 
nothing to do but stop and stare at us as we 
crossed the Danube to take the steamer direct to 

The news of the arrival of a party of Turkish 
ladies had preceded us, and on board we found 
a crowd of travellers anxious to get a glimpse 
of so unusual a sight. The Turkish ladies, 
frightened out of their wits, each took hold 
of one of my arms, which made it still more 
difficult for us to pass through the crowd, obliging 
me to talk to the doctor in two or three familiar 
languages, and at the same time to keep saying, 
"Place, mesdames, place, messieurs." Arrived in 
the cabin, the ladies at once closed the door and 
turned the key, and stood with their backs to the 
door for fear of its being opened. The doctor 
enjoyed the fun, and went on deck full of 
importance, and gave the impression to the 
inquisitive travellers that we were a runaway 
party from the Sultan's Seraglio at Constantinople. 
Some among the crowd, by conjecture and 
supposition, turned the supposed incident into a 
regular romance, and honoured me as the runaway 
sultana, owing to the assumed importance I had 
exercised, and discussed my merits and qualities 
as those of a real sultana. The doctor came 


down and induced me to accompany him on deck, 
where I graciously bowed to the salutes and 
attentions bestowed on me. I found the faroe so 
amusing that I forgot for a while the responsibility 
I had undertaken of chaperoning two frightened 
women, absolutely ignorant of the ways of the 
world outside their harem. 

All the way to Vienna both sides of the 
Danube presented some of the most dehghtful 
scenes I have ever witnessed. Apparently all the 
population in their picturesque native costumes 
were enjoying themselves on the banks of the 
river. On arriving at Vienna we went to 
*' Goldenes Lamm," the best and largest hotel in 
Vienna at the time. Next day three Viennese 
medical men came to see the Turkish invalid, with 
the happy result that they were, after a little 
while, able to restore her to good health. 

It was interesting to see how the nervousness 
of these ladies in surroundings strange to them 
was gradually overcome. At first they insisted 
upon having the door of their sitting-room locked, 
and I had some trouble to persuade them that 
there was no need, as no one, unless called up, 
would venture in ; but when I rang for a waiter, 
and a handsome liveried man came in, they 
changed their minds and frequently found some 
excuse to make him come up. This is not 
surprising as Turkish ladies hardly come in contact 
with men outside the narrow circle of their own 
families, consequently a handsome, well-dressed 
man with deferential, quiet manners is a subject of 
interest to them. 

Opposite to the Consulate at Belgrade was 


the palace of Prince Michael Obrenovitch. The 
Prince was, I believe, the most refined, liberal, 
and progressive ruler Serbia ever had. Prince 
Michael had spent a great part of his life in exile, 
and appeared to have studied all that was best in 
different capitals of Europe, with the object of 
making every effort to introduce such of the 
reforms as he could into his unsettled principality. 
Unfortunately the rivalries existing from genera- 
tion to generation between the two ruling families, 
the Obrenovitch and Kara Georgevitch, not only 
greatly restricted his power but from the beginning 
of his reign menaced his life, with the result that 
he was in constant danger of assassination. 
Prince Michael's wife. Princess Julia Obrenovitch, 
nee Countess Hunyadi of Kethely, was a most 
charming person who never obtained the popularity 
she deserved. There were endless intrigues and 
rivalries among the representatives of the Foreign 
Powers to gain the confidence of this much-tried 
princely couple. Unfortunately Michael Obreno- 
vitch was much in advance of his time and too 
brave and too unwilling to cope with the treacherous 
dealings of his adversaries. 

The Prince and Princess gave most attractive 
balls that charmed and in part softened the hatred 
and spite their enemies nourished in their vindictive 
hearts. The Serbian society, small as it was, was 
much divided, some people favouring at times one 
political agent of some great Power, sometimes 
another, which at times caused a good deal of 
coolness. I believe the representatives of England, 
who kept as much as possible out of intrigues, 
were the most respected. Yet in spite of this, one 


of our political agents before Mr Longworth's 
time was said to have given so much trouble to 
his Government by constantly threatening to 
lower his flag, that when his death was announced 
at the Foreign Office a fervent prayer, " Thank 
God for the removal of that public calamity," was 

My husband had some trouble, which it 
fortunately was not necessary to report home, as it 
was a purely personal affair. While dancing at 
one of the balls given by the Prince and Princess, 
he inadvertently stepped on the toes of an officer, 
who hated the English. My husband apologised 
at once and then went on dancing. Next morning 
he received an impertinent letter calling him out 
to a duel, and later on two friends of the officer 
presented themselves for the answer. My husband 
replied that the matter would be referred to the 
authorities, and thereupon asked an audience of 
the Prince and stated the case. The Prince 
apologised for the rudeness of the officer, had 
him put under arrest, and sent Mr Garachanine, 
his Prime Minister, officially to Mr Blunt to 
present his apologies. So ended this storm in a 

The Prince was a great lover of the free 
constitutional government of England, and tried 
in every way to introduce into Serbia some of 
the laws and customs of our country, confidently 
hoping for England's support in more propitious 
times. The Princess, sharing her husband's views, 
undertook a journey to England, where her charm 
and her cleverness were employed to help Serbia 
gain England's support with regard to the settle- 


ment of her claims with Turkey. The famous 
pun made by Lord Pahnerston, though well 
known, is worth repeating. The Princess was 
entering one of the Premier's receptions when her 
dress caught at the door. "Princesse," said the 
witty host, coming forward to release her, "la 
Porte est sur votrei chemin pour vous empecher 

It was perhaps fortunate for Michael Obreno- 
vitch, in view of his sad and tragic end, that he 
had no children. Regardless of dangers, many of 
which he was warned of. Prince Michael often 
went about Belgrade without an escort. It was, 
if I remember rightly, on his return from Paris, 
where he had gone to visit the Exhibition, that a 
woman fired at him in church, but fortunately 
missed him. 

On the morning of his assassination he received 
two anonymous letters warning him not to drive 
to Topchi Dere, the public park where he often 
went ; but on principle he paid no attention to such 
letters. As a rule he drove a pair of splendid black 
horses which had been presented to him by Sultan 
Medjid as a peace-ofFering. These horses became 
his favourites, as besides their beauty they were 
so perfectly trained that a child could drive them. 
On that fatal day they seemed conscious of impend- 
ing danger, for when brought round at the usual 
hour of the Prince's drive, nothing would induce 
them to start. They backed, reared, kicked, till 
the Prince, tired of trying to get them to start, 
ordered another pair of horses to be brought. 
Hardly had the carriage entered the park than 
four men, well - known criminals, fired ' at the 


Prince, and afterwards mutilated his body in 
order to make sure he was dead. 

Prince Michael was truly lamented by his 
friends in Serbia and elsewhere. 

My husband left Belgrade after Mr Longworth's 
return from leave, but, as I was not strong after 
a rather serious illness, and my husband's work 
necessitated his travelling in Macedonia where I 
could not follow him, I stayed on with my sister 
and brother-in-law. I watched with great interest 
the progress the country was making in all direc- 
tions. Good roads were made, while schools and 
colleges sprang up in many places. 

After a very pleasant prolonged stay in Serbia 
I began my return journey to Adrian ople under 
the care of Hussein Aga, whom my husband had 
sent to take me and my black maids home. I 
had lived so economically while at Belgrade that 
I had saved enough money to buy a carriage 
and a pair of Hungarian horses (greys) at Baziash 
Fair, and since the roads had been greatly improved 
during Midhat Pasha's short but efficacious rule the 
journey home was made under very comfortable 
circumstances. The weather was lovely, the roads 
safe, and a hamper of good things generously 
furnished by my sister completed my wants. I 
greatly enjoyed the scenery from the Babouna 
Pass, across which I walked and chose a pretty 
nook amidst wild roses and honeysuckle " to spread 
my carpet of rest and smoke my pipe of peace." 
1 fell into that train of perfect repose that solitude 
at times brings to the heart and mind when con- 
templating the marvellous works of Nature, when 
Marion, the blacker of the blackies, came to ask 

122 NISH 

me if I would have lunch. I nodded my head, 
native fashion, and presently saw her approach 
with a tray of good things, but missing a piece of 
excellent Gorgonzola cheese the Italian Consul- 
General had given me for the journey. I asked her 
to bring it. 

" Yes, mame," said she with a grin, and returned 
holding a plate with the cheese on it, as far away 
as her arm would stretch, whilst with averted head 
she squeezed her stumpy nose with the fingers of 
her other hand. Absurd as she appeared in the 
midst of such lovely surroundings, I kept as serious 
as I could and asked her what she meant by such 
funny ways. 

"Mame," answered she, "cheese grow quick, 
making walk about plate, p'haps it wants to get 
to the violets which smell so sweet." 

" Take that thing away," I said with indigna- 
tion, instead she placed it under my nose. So 
soon as the blackie with the creeping cheese had 
gone I left off romancing and returned to terrestrial 
matters, and ate a good lunch. 

My next station, if I remember rightly, was 
Nish, where the Governor invited me to stay the 
night in his harem in order to show me the im- 
provements introduced into the town by Midhat 
Pasha. The town looked clean. The Governor 
was most pleased to take me over a model jail that 
had recently been built. It was a large square 
building opening on to a good-sized courtyard, 
round which were cells adapted for the different 
classes of prisoners, and included workshops for 
different trades, where things of all kinds were 
produced. Beyond the workshops stood the silent 


cells in melancholy isolation away from the sound 
of human voices or the sight of human beings. 
A hole in the door, which opened from the 
outside to admit the daily portion of bread and 
water, was the only communication each prisoner 
had with the outer world. The Governor ordered 
three of these doors to be opened. It was a sad 
sight, since the three prisoners we saw were fine- 
looking young Albanians, pale and depressed, who 
cast an indifferent look on us without uttering a 
word. Evidently since hope was dead in their 
hearts they disdained even to use the power of 
speech. I felt more sorry than I can say for the 
lot of those unfortunate beings, in spite of the 
justice of their punishment, and it gave me an 
impression of sadness that will last to the end of 
my days. 

As we came down the steps of this long 
range of buildings, kept wonderfully clean and 
tidy for a Turkish Institution, we came to a 
strong iron door which led to the part where the 
worst criminals were confined. The door was 
swung open and I followed the Governor for a 
few steps with Hussein Aga close by my side, 
and one or two guards behind us. The place 
appeared to me to be vast, bare, and dark. As 
we stood I heard a terrific jangling of chains and 
the rush of what seemed to me of an innumerable 
crowd of wild-looking creatures, with heavy iron 
chains attached from hand to foot on both sides. 
The crowd hastened towards us and fixed their wild 
sunken eyes upon us, clamouring to the Governor 
for their freedom. I felt startled for a moment 
and tried to back out when the Governor, with his 


oriental calm and dignity said, " Korkma, korkma, 
EfFendim ! Do not be frightened, do not be 
frightened, Madame, these are helpless beings 

Not caring to see any more, I made a 
sign to Hussein to get me out where I 
could breathe pure air again. That night, 
though most kindly received and hospitably 
entertained in the Governor's locked-up harem, 
I got but little sleep since the picture of those 
brutalised creatures was ever present to my mind, 
and I wondered if by chance they were favoured 
with freedom, what use they would make of it. 

The rest of my journey was uneventful, and 
I was very glad to reach Adrianople and to find 
my dear husband in our pretty home, where 
everything had been kept in perfect order by 
my good old Bulgarian housekeeper. Our beloved 
horses " Swift " and " Jack " were alas ! no more. 
For the first few days I felt rather out of my 
element at having to make a new start in the 
old life. Except for a few changes in the 
Consular Corps the social circle at Adrianople 
was much as we had left it, and appeared to me 
to be very monotonous ; but less so to my husband 
who had gone heart and soul into Macedonian 
affairs, and, since he had no assistant in writing 
his report, I helped him as much as I could.' 

A change had occurred in our immediate 
peaceful neighbourhood, which was not favourable. 
A ruined house on our right had been made into 
a prison for female (Turkish) prisoners, while 
on our left a drunken Sheik had married a fine 
young wife, who, I believe, used to thrash him 


daily. One morning as I was dressing I heard 
a terrific cry of " Fire I fire ! " from the Sheik's 
house. Seizing two jugs full of water I rushed 
down calling to the servants to follow me. I 
reached the house by a small door which opened 
into the garden and witnessed a battle royal 
between the couple. The Sheik had been knocked 
down on the floor, while his vigorous young wife 
sat on his chest beating him with her strong 
fists while he bellowed like a bull, " Yangen var ! 
Yangen var ! " (Fire ! fire !) Owing to the dis- 
turbance caused by this false alarm I punished 
both by emptying my jugs on their heads, which 
quickly put an end to the fray. The girl who 
had been forced to marry this degraded creature 
soon afterwards disappeared and nothing more was 
heard of her. 

During the silkworm season the whole popula- 
tion of Adrianople was absorbed in rearing silk- 
worms. This was, when successful, a most 
lucrative business, but was a great speculation, 
owing to the prevalence of a disease that killed 
the worms as they crawled about on the little 
forest of mulberry bushes made for them by 
breaking off branches of the trees and sticking 
them into the ground so that the worms could 
be watched and cared for. A silly fancy induced 
me to make a trial in rearing worms, though 
I had no notion of the food and care they 
needed. The seed, as the minute grubs are called, 
was given me by a friend in a tiny bundle of 
twigs, which I put on one side; but on looking 
at it the following day I found myriads of 
microscopic maggots seeking nourishment. I 


soon procured leaves from the mulberry tree in 
the garden, chopped them up on a plate, and 
shook the maggots over them. Next morning 
every vestige of leaf had gone and the plate was 
black with a mass of living moving life seeking 
space and food. In my ignorance regarding both 
necessities I went on defrauding my tree of its 
leaves and spread them on all the tables I could 
find in order to give space to these rapidly grow- 
ing mites. The growth of these worms was so 
rapid that I got into difficulties with regard to 
space, even after I had secured an outhouse for 
their special benefit. As week succeeded week 
they went on eating, sleeping, and developing 
into beautiful worms when I had a fortunate 
inspiration, and applied to my drunken neighbour 
for the key of a disused mosque under his care 
at the bottom of the narrow passage between our 
houses. "Mash Allah, EfFendim," said he, "all 
I possess is at your disposal, and you will find 
your silkworms thrive and grow fat there while 
elsewhere most of them drop and perish." I 
thanked him and sent him a couple of bottles 
of Mastica, and in return received the key. The 
garden surrounding the mosque proved an ideal 
resort for my worms, and there I watched my 
treasures develop and swing their heads right 
and left as they crawled up the branches of the 
boughs I broke off for them, in search of the 
precious leaves on which to weave their lovely 
silk cocoons, ready for their change before enter- 
ing the happy state of a love-stricken butterfly 
in search of her mate, with whom she could live, 
love, and die. My mosque-reared family was 


the only one that prospered and outlived the 
epidemic that killed those I had in the other 
places. After defraying all expenses I had a 
balance of £50 in my pocket, but interesting as 
this enterprise had been I was never tempted to 
renew it. 



In 1872 my husband was appointed to be Her 
Majesty's Consul at Monastir (Bitholia of my 
earlier days). The appointment was a great blow 
to me as it meant a return to the wilds of 
Macedonia, to be cut off once more from the 
civilised world and left in that dull town which 
had been further impoverished by the withdrawal 
of the Turkish Army. The music, wild and soft, 
of the band of the Turkish Army had been not 
unpleasing to listen to during the time I spent at 
Monastir before my marriage, and when "God 
save the Queen " and other foreign national 
anthems were played, they often touched the 
hearts and brought tears to the eyes of those who, 
like ourselves, were away from home. 

The very thought of this removal was enough 
to crush all hope of a pleasant life ; still I tried my 
best to look contented for my husband's sake and 
for the sake of my baby boy, whose presence in 
our home was like a ray of sunshine. We sold 
most of our furniture owing to the difficulties of 
carriage along bad roads and across broken bridges, 
with which the way to Monastir abounded. 

My husband preceded me and the boy, in order 



to secure a decent abode and prepare it as best he 
could for us on our arrival. My child, who was 
now a year and a half old, necessitated my taking 
the journey via Salonika in a talika, a springless, 
uncomfortable vehicle which I often had to get 
out of and walk. I stayed only one day at 
Salonika, heartily wishing we could have stopped 
there for good. Nearing Vodena a terrific storm 
overtook us, barely allowing t^ime to cross the 
flooded torrent tearing down from the heights 
above, while the talika was flooded as high as the 
seat, obliging me to hold the child up to my 
shoulders. The ascent up the hill was equally 
difficult and dangerous. I fortunately got out and 
walked to the top of the hill, the rain pouring 
down, and sat on a ^reat boulder with my baby 
in my arms waiting for the talika, when to my 
horror I saw it rolling down the precipice with 
the horses and groom. Providentially it came 
to a stop against some projecting rocks ; but 
it took over an hour to get it up, and during the 
whole time I sat on the boulder with my baby 
pressed against my heart, the picture of despair. 
The rain did not cease to pour down, the thunder 
crashed overhead, and sheets of forked lightning 
crossed one another in a magnificent display over 
the hills and the valley below. I never remember 
so terrific a storm or so beautiful and angry a 
mood of Nature. Had there been an artist to 
paint the whole tableau with me and the child as 
a group of despair in the centre of these wild 
surroundings, it would have made a striking 
picture. Fortunately the storm gradually subsided 
and we were able to get to a miserable hostelry 


before it grew dark, where I spent the night in a 
kind of barn open on all sides. Next day we 
reached Monastir, where in the twilight I could 
see the impoverished look the town had assumed 
on the main street. Most of the once fine houses 
were bereft of occupants and going to decay ; the 
shops were almost bare, goods being no longer 
needed ; while the natives looked more wretched 
and miserable than before. My husband had 
secured, as the Consulate, the best of the deserted 
old konaks. Choosing the smallest of its rooms 
we settled down, leaving the rest of the big edifice 
to the rats and mice to gambol about in, in 
freedom and security. Disheartened as both my 
husband and I felt, Providence once more came to 
our aid by the unexpected arrival of Colonel Synge, 
a most charming man and delightful companion. 
We at once got him to come and share our 
unsettled home a la guerre comme a la guerre. 
Sport was Colonel Synge's chief object in coming to 
Monastir, and both he and my husband thoroughly 
enjoyed this to their hearts' content. I naturally 
took no part in their expeditions after big game, 
but stayed at home in order to try and give a 
semblance of comfort and respectability to the 
Consulate, for which I had neither the energy 
nor the means to do more than was absolutely 
necessary. The task was difficult, but had to 
be done, as no official in Turkey could possibly 
acquire influence, or secure the confidence and 
esteem of the authorities or the inhabitants unless 
he put his Consulate on more or less a proper 
footing. I believe this all-important question of 
living in adequate style never attracted the serious 


attention of the Foreign Office, whose chief object 
seems always to have been to keep the salaries of 
the junior officials in the Consular Corps at a 
minimum, obhging them either to get into debt in 
order to set their consulates on a proper footing, 
or else to live like "Zingari" or gypsies, as the 
natives are in the habit of calling them, and whom 
in consequence they do not regard as the repre- 
sentatives of a Great Power. I consider it is 
better not to nominate Consular agents than to 
expose them and their Government to unavoidable 
humiliation. The great influence my husband 
enjoyed during his long term of service in Turkey, 
and the good he did was in part due, not only to 
his personality, but to his continuous efforts to 
keep up the Consulate in proper style. 

On our arrival at Monastir political ferment 
had already begun, and many were the evils my 
husband was able to modify by his influence and 
the pressure he brought to bear on the tactless 
Governor, who neither knew nor was competent to 
deal with the just claims of the people, Christians 
or Turks. 

We had only been a few months in Monastir, 
and I had not got to the end of hanging up 
curtains, when as I was sitting on the top of a 
ladder fixing some draperies, my husband rushed 
into the room with an open despatch in his hand, 
saying, " The Consulate of Monastir is suppressed 
and I am appointed Consul at Salonika." I nearly 
dropped off the ladder with joy and ran to give 
Colonel Synge the welcome news. He was equally 
glad to hear it, and reminded me that he had told 
me more than once that I need not trouble to do 


too much to the house as he was certain we should 
be transferred to Salonika. We were all three 
delighted, the Colonel particularly so, as he had 
bought a nice property not far from Salonika as a 
hunting-box to retire to when he was tired of the 
formalities of civilised life. 

Before leaving Monastir I visited many of my 
old haunts in memory of the good time I had spent 
there with my sister and her husband, Mr and Mrs 
Long worth. There were also a few acquaintances 
to call on, including the fat old Dervish Pasha, who 
was not only the politest of polite Turks, but a clever 
and amusing old hypocrite. One afternoon as I was 
driving home, and just as the carriage passed the 
door of the konak where Dervish Pasha lived, a 
wild-looking " Perishan " (religious lunatic), with 
hair and beard innocent of brush and comb, rushed 
out of the gate, and with one bound jumped into 
my carriage and sat at my side, staring at me with 
his bloodshot eyes and murmuring words I could 
not hear. Frightened and horrified to feel myself 
at the mercy of this demented beast I tried to get 
out, when he took hold of my arm and held it as if 
in a vice, while Hussein did his best to throw the 
man out of the carriage. Dervish Pasha witnessed 
all that was going on under his window, and, to my 
disgust, told me not to mind, as the Perishan was 
a very holy man whose touch was sure to bring 
me good luck. These pretended holy madmen, 
highly venerated at that time by the Turks, were 
a terrible nuisance to people in the streets on 
account of their disorderly looks and deeds, and 
yet none of them were ever proceeded against. 
I have not seen the face of a Perishan for years, 


but 1 cannot forget this last sample without a 
shiver of disgust. It would not be surprising if 
the Kaiser in a freak of religious zeal may not wish 
to join the Perishan order, thereby trying to revive 
his departing influence on the unfortunate Turkish 
nation he has brought to ruin. 

Among Turkey's shattered dominion it is diffi- 
cult to predict what the destiny of Macedonia will 
be, with her mixture of nations, a regular Salade 
Macedoine, Every one of the races will wish to get 
a bit. It reminds me of the representative of a cer- 
tain Power who came to me and asked me to write 
an article on his countrymen living in Macedonia. 
I asked him where these fellow countrymen were to 
be found. " Mais voila ! Madame, c'est qu'il faut 
les creer la ou ils ne se trouvent pas, et pour cette 
belle oeuvre je vous promets de la part de mon 
Gouvernement, une decoration et une somme 
d'argent." I expressed my regret, saying that 
creations of the kind were so entirely out of my 
power that I should have to forego the promised 
decoration and payment. 

I was again obliged to travel without my 
husband as my child became very ill, and I 
desired to start at once for Salonika to place 
him under the care of a good doctor there. We 
again had a miraculous escape that might have 
cost us our lives. A bridge over a deep ravine 
suddenly fell. On our previous journey the 
condition of the bridge was so bad that my 
men had to pull up several planks of the bridge 
and put them together to make a safe road for 
the talika. This time, though it was getting 
dark, I noticed a big cloud which I took for 


the smoke from a fire of bushes in the vicinity 
of the bridge. The horses trotted close up to 
the bridge when a man rushed out and stopped 
them. At first I took him for a brigand, when 
he pointed to the supposed smoke and said, 
"Look, the bridge has just fallen." In another 
minute, had it not been for this warning, our 
horses might have fallen down the ravine. This 
poor man richly deserved the present he got, 
not only for averting from us a great calamity, 
but for taking us some distance round where 
the ravine was fordable. Such were the 
adventures that travellers had to face in the 
Turkish Empire in those days. 

On arriving at Salonika I was hospitably 
received by Mr and Mrs Crosbie, very kind 
Scottish friends. Mr Crosbie, a missionary who 
had come to Salonika to try and convert the 
Jews, was a very well-known character and a 
most kind host and friend to all the clergy 
who came to Salonika. My son soon recovered 
under the care of a good doctor and my good 
fortune went further, for the second day of my 
arrival I secured one of the best and prettiest 
houses in the centre of the town, which had 
been occupied by a dear old Russian Consul 
who, on hearing that I wanted a nice house, 
at once came and offered me his Consulate, saying 
that it was best we should have it rather than 
a solitary old man like himself. 

As soon as my faithful blackies and the 
luggage arrived I set up house for the tenth 
time, always under difficulties but rewarded by 
success. There is nothing like experience to 

Lady Blunt, 1876. 

[To face page 184. 


develop one's capacities under the pressure of 
necessity. My husband, well pleased with our 
new home, and leaving the cares of the house 
to me, started making acquaintance with the 
town, the people, the authorities, and his 
numerous colleagues. He instituted a club, the 
Cercle des Etrangers, of which he remained the 
active President for over twenty years. (The 
club was burnt down in the great fire of 1917.) 
Salonika (Thessalonica, as the old Greeks called 
it) at the time we went to it had nothing new 
like so many other towns of Macedonia. The 
old walls surrounding the town were crumbling, 
and there were gaps in all directions, but the two 
arched gateways, one at each end of the Strada 
Via or principal main street had been marvellously 
retained. To the discomfort of the inhabitants, 
these gates were closed every night at sunset ; 
an absurd measure of security kept up by the 
authorities for the trifling revenue it brought. 
In the Frank quarter, where the Christians 
lived, the houses were built of wood and were 
neither elegant nor comfortable. The Jewish 
quarter consisted of a number of abominable, 
poverty-stricken, filthy hovels of which the sight 
and smells were so repulsive that the only tim'e 
I went round it with one of the Sisters of Charity 
of the Roman Catholic Convent, I determined 
never again to set foot in it. I need hardly 
say that the system of ghettos did not exist in 
Turkey, consequently all the well-to-do Jewish 
families could build and rent houses in any part 
of the town they pleased. The Turkish quarter 
as usual was airy and clean, but, barring the 


Strada Via and one or two other streets, the 
streets were narrow, ill-paved, and unlit. There 
were only one or two carriages in the town belong- 
ing to private families, and a few Tahtervans 
(a sort of palanquin) for the special benefit of 
Turkish brides who were conveyed in them to 
their new homes. The rest of us, when we 
went out at night, had to walk with men ahead 
of us carrying not only lanterns but our shoes, 
which we had to change on arriving at the house 
where the dinner or soiree was being given. 
There was no municipality to look after the 
needs of the town, so that no attention was paid 
to cleanliness nor to the epidemic diseases which 
frequently visited it. All refuse was cast outside 
the gates, where it formed dirty, evil-smelling, 
disreputable looking heaps. There was neither 
pier nor landing-stage of any kind. Salonika 
was very picturesquely situated on the shores 
of the splendid bay of that name with the 
Hortiach Mountain behind it, and the glorious 
Mount Olympus mirrored in the blue waters of 
the bay. 

The town possessed a bazaar where lovely 
articles of every description could be got for a 
trifle. Shops were scattered all over the town, 
and unlike Malta, every industry for supplying 
the needs of the people was carried on by the 
natives. Carpets, all kinds of wool and linen 
tissues, and beautiful articles in wood, copper, 
and silver, and other metals were made, some of 
them quite works of art. Life in Salonika at 
that time, if not luxurious, was easy going and 
inexpensive. Turkeys cost lOd. to Is. each, 


partridges lOd. a brace, eggs 4d. a dozen, fish, 
milk, fruit, and vegetables were all plentiful, 
good, and cheap. European articles of luxury 
or even of necessity were not yet in use, except 
in the houses of a few wealthy families who had 
imported them by special order. 

On the whole Salonika came next to Smyrna 
with a, promise of a fair future, at least such 
were my impressions of the place. When I 
came to know it better, the things I could 
never endure were the filthy state of the streets 
and the untidy, ill-kept shops ; but in the East 
one has to endure many things one does not like. 

It did not take my husband long to master 
the situation, nor did he fail in his untiring 
efforts to improve, as far as it lay in his power, 
the spirit of unrest and discontent prevalent in 
the place on our arrival. His tour in Macedonia, 
Thessaly, Albania, and the Epirus were beacons 
of light that continued to render him good service 
in his work, as every place he had visited enabled 
him to learn much, and to secure the services 
of trusty agents who continued to the last hour 
of his office in Turkey to keep him perfectly 
well informed on all that went on in those 
unsettled countries, beginning to ask for changes 
and improvements which were tardy to come. 



Three events of great interest to us happened 
in 1876, the first two, namely, my husband's 
transfer to Monastir and then to Salonika were 
of private interest, the third, the massacre of the 
consuls at Salonika, was a tragedy in which many 
people were involved. 

The ferment of discontent in Salonika was 
very great but was not too readily seen. It 
reminded me of a deep, fast-running river, calm 
on the surface till a point was reached where the 
waters were agitated, when bubbles of discontent 
and dissension arose, and of a sudden the aspect 
of calm disappeared. 

My husband minimised the importance of the 
various rumours which abounded and, though 
new to Salonika, tried with his tactful savoir faire 
to put off the evil day of a massacre of the 
Christians by the Turks, when suddenly a matter, 
small in itself, gave rise to the murder of two 
innocent men, M. Moulin, the French Consul, and 
his brother-in-law, Mr Henry Abbott, the German 
Consul. A peasant girl of the Orthodox Church 
from a village in the interior had a Mohammedan 
lover, and in order to be able to marry him 



decided to accept the Islamic faith, and came to 
Salonika to take her vows in her new religion. 
By chance this girl met her mother in the train 
on her way to Salonika, when there was a battle 
royal between them. The mother lost all hope 
of retaining her daughter in the Orthodox faith, 
and telegraphed from one of the stations at which 
the train stopped to her Greek friends in Salonika, 
begging them to rescue her daughter on the 
arrival of the train. It happened that it was the 
Feast of St George, a general holiday, and all the 
Greek population, probably having nothing better 
to do, collected round the railway station, and on 
the arrival of the train got hold of the girl and 
threw her into the carriage of Mr Lazaros, a 
Greek gentleman who was the American Consul. 
The coachman was ordered to take the girl to 
the Metropolis (the Archbishop's palace) but took 
her instead to the American Consulate. As Mr 
Lazaros was not at the Consulate the girl was 
taken to a house in the Greek quarter. 

That evening a meeting of Greeks was held, 
when it was decided not to hand the girl over to 
the Turkish authorities, as it was hoped in this 
way to prevent her making her declaration as a 

Now Mr Henry Abbott, the German Consul, 
and his sister who had married M. Moulin, the 
French Consul, though half Greek were British 
subjects, and Mr Abbott and M. and Madame 
Moulin all appear to have greatly favoured the 
detention of the girl. 

The Turks also held a meeting and determined 
to get hold of the girl and so the fight began. 


It might be added that it was because the girl 
was thought to be under age, and therefore still 
under the jurisdiction of her parents, that all the 
trouble arose. Later on, when the girl was seen 
in Court, and at Mr Blunt's request and with the 
support of the Kadi or Supreme Judge and the 
Archbishop, she was asked to put off her veil, 
she was seen to be a woman of two or three and 
twenty, and of course perfectly free to follow 
what faith she desired. But " how great a matter 
a little fire kindleth." This incident of the 
peasant girl was the spark that set ablaze a 
conflagration which had been smouldering for a 
long time. 

The day after the girl's arrival in Salonika, 
when she was in the hands of the Greek community, 
Mr Blunt, attaching no importance to the affair, 
left the Consulate early in the afternoon without 
stating where he was going. In his absence matters 
began to be serious. On the reiterated refusal of 
the Greeks to hand the girl over to the Moslems, 
a body of fanatical Turks, armed with all kinds of 
implements, poured down the main street and took 
up their positions with their backs to the wall, 
awaiting instructions, whilst the Muezzins on the 
minarets called the faithful to protect Islamism. • 

I went on to the balcony overlooking the 
Consulate gate and saw the French and German 
Consuls, M. Moulin and his brother-in-law, Mr 
Henry Abbott, with their kavasses (guards) go 
up the street in the direction of the Government 
House, which was just opposite the Mosque and 
the telegraph office. The Governor and the 
Mejlis (Council) and a great number of the 


populace were gathered together in the Mosque. 
Whether M. Moulin and Mr Abbott went into 
the Mosque or were forced into it remains a 
mystery, but their presence there was revealed by 
a few lines Mr Abbott wrote to his brother, Mr 
Alfred Abbott, saying, " We are kept prisoners 
here. You had better send the girl to the 
authorities as this is our only chance." I cannot 
say how long it was after the receipt of this note 
that Mr Alfred Abbott came to find my husband, 
who had not yet returned. About the same time 
Hussein Aga came to inform me that the two 
Consuls were held captives in the Mosque, and 
that if the girl was not handed to the Turkish 
authorities within two hours they would be 
murdered. At the appointed time I heard pistol 
shots, and there was a considerable movement 
among the Turks in the street. 

A Jewish gentleman, Mr Allatini, a man of 
great influence whose office was in the Consulate 
courtyard, ordered the Consulate gates to be 
closed, wliereupon in my husband's absence I 
wrote and asked him to have them reopened, and 
to allow people seeking protection under the 
British Flag to come in. It was a risky thing to 
do, but I felt that the town, and indeed all of us, 
were passing through a great crisis which demanded 
coolness and presence of mind. Hussein reported 
to me that the Consuls had been murdered, and 
that the excited Turks were leaving the Mosque 
and going to the Greek quarter to begin the 
massacre from the house of Mr Lazaros. 1 
thereupon decided to send my little boy to Mr 
AUatini's house where I felt he would be safe, 


while I remained at the Consulate to await events 
with my faithful guard, Hussein Aga. 

Shortly afterwards my husband came in, 
surprised and horrified to hear what had taken 
place. He immediately sent a peremptory note 
to Mr Alfred Abbott, since he was a British 
subject, ordering him to hand over the girl to 
Hussein Aga and a small body of police at once. 
He was about to go out to the rescue of his 
colleagues, if perchance they were still alive, when 
I called to him from the balcony not to do so, or 
at least to put on his Consular cap in order that 
he might be recognised. But to no avail ; he just 
called out, " I shall be all right," and walked off 
in the direction of the Mosque. Although a 
comparatively newcomer some of the armed 
Turks recognised him and begged him not to 
venture into the Mosque, as they were sure he 
would be murdered like his colleagues. His 
reply to them had a good effect as a number of 
them offered to, and did, accompany him to the 
Mosque. He found the Pasha and all his Mejlis 
(Council) coming out of the Mosque terror- 
stricken and horrified at the recent tragedy. 
They in a body opposed Mr Blunt's entrance 
since the colleagues he wished to assist were past 
all help. The Pasha himself, shaking from head 
to foot, begged my husband to accompany him 
to his konak. My husband consented to do so 
on condition that he should be admitted to the 
privacy of the harem, where he thought he might 
find quiet and security to think over the measures 
to be taken for the safety of the town. Before 
going into the konak he went into the telegraph 


office and sent a message to Athens for one or 
two men-of-war to be sent at once, and wrote me 
a note saying he was safe. 

On entering the harem he was met by a crowd 
of screaming women, terrified at the sight of a 
strange man. Some covered their faces, others 
tried to run away, but the Pasha coming in 
gathered them like a flock of frightened sheep 
and swept them into the inner rooms. 

During this time Hussein Aga and the police 
had found the young woman and were taking her 
to the authorities when, providentially, they met 
the murderous Moslems on their way to the house 
of Mr Lazaros to commence the massacre of the 
Greeks. At first, disbelieving the personality of 
the girl, they fired at Hussein, when one of the 
band recognised her and got the crowd to acknow- 
ledge her, and took her to the Governor's konak, 
where my husband was laying before the Pasha 
and his Council the gravity of the consequences 
should they fail to take immediate steps to prevent 
further mischief when once the girl was in their 
hands. Coming to their senses they, like frightened 
schoolboys, begged for instructions. 

In the interval, Madame MouUn and her 
brother, Mr Alfred Abbott, heard of the murder of 
M. Moulin and Mr Henry Abbott and were frantic 
with fear and sorrow ; the former, in an attack of 
hysteria, threatened to throw herself out of the 
window unless the body of her husband was 
brought home. I went to try and comfort 
Madame Moulin. On my way to the French 
Consulate I came face to face with a party of 
the murderers who were besmeared with blood. 


I continued to walk on, apparently calm and cool, 
when one of the wild brutes about three feet from 
me cocked his pistol and pointed it at me. I 
stopped and gave him a look of defiance such as 
I suppose real danger and terror inspires. The 
man lowered his pistol and murmured some words 
which I failed to understand. I found it best to 
bring Madame Moulin to our Consulate. A few 
minutes later my husband came in, when Madame 
Moulin again lost all self-control and called out 
wildly for revenge, and insisted that the body of 
her husband should be brought to her. After an 
hour or so Madame Moulin wished to go back to 
her own house whither I accompanied her, and 
spent the night watching her with my ears alert 
for noises in the street in dread of an attack. 

The next morning on leaving the French 
Consulate I slipped into Mr Allatini's house to 
see my dear boy before returning to the British 
Consulate. I noticed there was a good deal of 
agitation prevalent in the streets. The Turks 
looked savage and discontented, the Christians 
meek and frightened, whilst some of the foreign 
consuls who had ventured out were insulted by 
the populace. My husband, brave and fearless as 
usual, had not returned from the inspection he had 
made during the night in the dark, and quite alone, 
of the Turkish quarter. He walked down every 
street to make sure that the Governor's promise to 
have each street guarded by soldiers to prevent 
further trouble was fulfilled. On returning to the 
Consulate my husband saw a dense crowd near the 
gates, which suggested a fresh attempt at massacre. 
He pushed his way into the centre of the crowd 


only to find a donkey, heavily laden with wood, 
which had fallen down and lay stretched across the 
street barring the way. He scattered the crowd 
and walked into the Consulate where all the British 
subjects, in a very nervous condition, awaited his 
return for instructions as to the measures they 
might take to prevent further trouble. My 
husband took them all on to the balcony and 
pointed out to them the guns of H.M.S. Swiftsure 
pointing right on the Turkish quarter, and at the 
same time told them of the scare caused by the fall 
of a donkey, and so ridiculed their fright that they, 
though shamefaced, felt comforted and hastened 
home to assure their womenkind that all danger 
was over. 

During the evening the body of M. Moulin 
was brought to the French Consulate by the 
French monks, and as Madame Moulin persisted 
in her desire to see her husband's remains I got 
the doctor of the French Stationnaire, which had 
arrived from Athens, to make the poor body pre- 
sentable after its terrible mutilation in the Mosque. 
Poor Madame Moulin calmed down very much 
after seeing her husband's body and became 
resigned to the inevitable. I was much struck 
with Madame Moulin's sorrow, which so absorbed 
her that she never expressed one word of thanks 
to me or to a few others who had risked their 
lives to help her in her hour of need. 

During all this critical time I hardly saw 
anything of my husband, who appeared to be 
everywhere except at home. I felt proud of the 
confidence he had placed in my savoir J'aire, and 
took courage and decided to face the agitated 


crowds in the streets and go and see my good friend, 
Mrs Henry Abbott, who lived at the other end of 
the town. Mr Henry Abbott's mangled body 
had been taken to his home and there I found his 
widowed mother calm and resigned, like a Grecian 
mother of olden times, accepting the decrees of 
Nemesis. Her daughter - in - law, Mrs Henry 
Abbott, one of my dearest friends, a highly 
accomplished and gifted young girl and a member 
of the Caratheodori family was sitting by her side 
in accordance with Greek custom. Overpowered 
with her grief she fell into my arms like a wounded 
bird. Filled with pity and sorrow for her I did 
my best to comfort her. The body of her husband 
and that of M. Moulin were taken respectively to 
the Greek Metropolis and the Roman Catholic 
Church to receive the last sacred rights of the 

Both Mrs Abbott and Mrs Henry Abbott 
received large indemnities from the Turkish 
Government and soon left Salonika never to 
return there. Mrs Henry Abbott made England 
her home, where she settled down with one of her 
sisters, and where, perhaps, I may meet her some 

The presence of H.M.S. Swiftsure moored in 
front of the Turkish quarters, her guns in readi- 
ness to fire if needed, soon brought the quarrel to 
a close, while the Turkish authorities in order to 
make a show of activity made some arrests in their 
endeavour to calm down the irritation and anger 
of the Islamic population. 

Most of the foreign embassies sent repre- 
sentatives to Salonika, while my husband, with 


the support of Sir Henry Elliot, stood his ground 
firmly and settled this complicated quarrel without 
the occupation of foreign Powers which some 
desired to impose on the town. The degradation 
of the Pasha and his imprisonment with a few 
others connected with the case, and the death 
penalty paid by some of the supposed or real 
murderers was all that appeared to be necessary. 
One of the murderers, a gigantic nigger, who a 
few months previously on our arrival had carried 
some of our heaviest luggage on his back, was one 
of those who were hanged. His wife stood by at 
the time and, putting her hands on her breast as a 
sign of contentment, said, " Och olsoun " (Serves 
you right). 

So ended this tragic massacre of the Consuls. 
Several people, both Christians and Turks, testified 
to the fact that it was due to my husband's tact 
and energetic measures that Salonika was saved 
from a more general massacre. 



Soon after the funeral of the consuls all the 
foreign ships, with the exception of H.M.S. 
Swiftsure, under the command of Captain Baird, 
left Salonika. The presence of the Swiftsure was 
most welcome to us after all we had gone through, 
and my husband took the opportunity of impressing 
upon the Turkish authorities the serious responsi- 
bility that rested on their shoulders with regard to 
the welcome and safety of the men of all ranks of 
our men-of-war whilst at Salonika. My husband 
was so successful in having the measures he im- 
posed upon the Turkish authorities fully and 
faithfully carried out, that during his twenty-five 
years' residence in Macedonia nothing of an un- 
pleasant character ever happened to an English- 
man, though shooting parties into the interior and 
the free access of the liberty men to the town were 
of daily occurrence ; and this, in spite of the fact 
that the spirit of hatred between Moslems and 
Christians was never modified ; that the Balkan 
States — Albania, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Epirus 
— were all in a state of ferment ; that the agency 
of the Komitadjis or armed marauding bands, 
Bashi-Bazouks, the Andarti (Greek freebooters 



living on their casual earnings), and Greek brigands 
were all ready to fight all and sundry ; yet, thanks 
to my husband's influence. Englishmen of all ranks, 
except in two instances, were safe to come and go 
as they liked. Among the Greek brigands was a 
man named Nico, well known for his savage cruelty. 
He would commit a murder or two in a town or 
village and carry off boys of tender age, and then 
barter the noses and ears of his victims for cash 
with the helpless parents ; or he would send the 
heads of the boys to the horrified relations in cases 
where the stated amount was not forthcoming. It 
was in 1880 that our dear old friend Colonel Synge, 
while staying at his country house at Tricovista, had 
the misfortune to fall into the hands of this monster. 
In the dead of night Nico penetrated into Colonel 
Synge's room, dragged him out of bed, and carried 
him off to the inaccessible fastnesses of Mount 
Olympus. This was a terrible blow to us both, 
but especially to my husband upon whom rested 
the responsibility of Colonel Synge's release. On 
the second or third day an ultimatum addressed to 
my husband arrived from Nico claiming £12,000 
as the price of Colonel Synge's head. The Govern- 
ment took the case up and after weeks of parleying 
the amount was reduced to £8000. Our poor 
friend during this time went through great 
suffering and privation, to say nothing of the 
feeling of horror of finding himself the victim of 
a band of assassins. H.M.S. Condor was at once 
sent to Salonika from Constantinople, and greatly 
facilitated my husband's journeys across the bay to 
Catarina in his efforts to come to an understanding 
with the unscrupulous Nico who held poor Colonel 


Synge's life entirely within his power. It was a day 
of great rejoicing to us when the Condor brought 
Colonel Synge to the Consulate, though he, poor 
man, was reduced to a skeleton and looked more 
dead than alive. 

Salonika was daily becoming more and more 
important, rendering Mr Blunt's work over the 
vast area under his jurisdiction more difficult of 
control. The timely appointment of Mr Alvarez 
as Consulate Assistant was a great relief to my 
husband, and at the same time it afforded both of 
us great satisfaction to have a countryman of our 
own in the midst of the foreign element with 
which we were surrounded. Mr Alvarez was 
the first of the Consular assistants appointed 
to the Salonika Consulate who served under my 
husband before becoming a Vice-Consul, and he, 
and those who followed him, have distinguished 
themselves in the Consular Service. Mr and Mrs 
Alvarez, who are now settled in Malta, are the 
oldest and dearest friends I have connected with 
the Service, and are a source of great comfort to 
me as the last link of the old happy days at 
Salonika. Those were indeed happy days, even 
at their worst, when my husband on returning 
from a journey in the interior fell ill, and for 
weeks hovered between life and death. Even at 
this distance of time my mind often reverts with 
deep gratitude towards Salonika and its inhabitants 
for the interest and sympathy they showed in his 
case. All the clerical heads of the communities, 
bishops, priests, hodjas had special services, and 
asked leave to be allowed to come and pray at his 
bedside or breathe over his head. The monks of 


Mount Athos sent a special deputation from all 
the monasteries and gave prayers for his speedy 
recovery. The Turkish Government Department 
sent me two stones of great medicinal value which 
had been in its possession from the time of the 
Conquest. These stones were given into my hands 
on loan as a precious remedy for his case, and I 
was asked to give a receipt for them. The strange- 
looking objects entrusted to my care were very 
hard greenish stones of the size of a small walnut, 
and were to be applied where the pain and danger 
were most severe. When I applied one on the 
head it caught and stuck there as if drawn by some 
invisible electric force. The same thing happened 
with the one I placed on his body. During the 
night a change for the better began to show by 
the abating of the delirium and by one of his 
drawn-up legs stretching into a normal position. 
Next morning I was overjoyed when three or four 
doctors, who had come to perform a serious opera- 
tion, said there was no need to operate since his 
life appeared to be out of danger. This opinion 
of the doctors gave me a certain amount of faith 
in the efficacy of the stones, especially as I tried 
them on my own person and on several others, and 
found they would neither catch nor stick even 
when damped, whilst- reapplied to my husband 
they caught on and held like a limpet on a rock. 
These wonderful stones are found at rare intervals 
in the veins of a donkey's neck, perhaps only one 
stone may be found in a million donkeys. Is it 
possible that these stones may be the petrified 
serum which benefits such cases of disease as Mr 
Blunt was suffering from ? 


As soon as my husband had recovered and 
was sufficiently strong to travel, we went to 
Constantinople to stay with my dear brother 
and his wife, Sir Alfred and Lady Sandison. 
My brother's kiosk was placed on the top of 
the hill at Therapia, facing the Bosphorus towards 
the entrance to the Black Sea. The sweet reviv- 
ing air and the lovely surroundings soon restored 
us both to our normal condition of health, and 
enabled us better to enjoy the family gathering 
which included my adored old mother, my dear 
sister Matilda and her husband, Mr Ricketts, 
and my cousin. Sir Edward Zohrab, and his 
charming wife. It was a most delightful party, 
and after so many years of separation we all 
had most interesting adventures to relate of the 
places we had been to, and the people we had 
met. The Kicketts had wonderful things to tell 
of their life in the Caucasus, where Mr Ricketts 
had been Consul until the fashion of murdering 
consuls had reached that wild place disturbed 
by political agitation. Prince Karaja, who 
represented the interests of Turkey, and his 
wife were cruelly murdered whilst at dinner, 
and Mr Ricketts had good reason to suspect 
that his turn was to come next, as a certain 
Great Power had notified its objection to Turkish 
and British agents in that quarter. 

My cousin Sir Edward Zohrab's stories of his 
experiences in the Khedival Court from the 
time of the first Khedive of Egypt were exciting 
enough to form a fine romance. One of his 
experiences was when he played a great role 
in the rescue of the Khedival harem at the 


time of Arabi Pasha's rebellion. It will be 
remembered how Arabi suddenly surprised 
Alexandria with a force of some 10,000 men. 
The Khedive was practically isolated in his 
palace, and fearing an attack by the rebels, and 
being anxious for the safety of his harem he 
entrusted the latter to the care of my cousin 
who was attached to the Khedival house. 
Edward managed to convey the precious inmates 
of the harem from the Abdin Palace to a palace 
outside the town. He had to take many carriage 
loads of veiled ladies through crowded streets 
held by Arabi's adherents, while the arch-rebel, 
instead of directing affairs himself as one would 
have supposed he would have done, obeyed my 
cousin's orders and rode ahead of the procession 
of carriages, whilst Edward, revolver in hand, 
warned Arabi that at the first sign of disturbance 
on his or his adherents' part he could consider 
himself a dead man. The menace having 
succeeded to perfection, Edward placed the 
innumerable princesses, kadin efFendis, and 
hanoums in safety, and then, without any 
credentials, boarded the Condor and begged 
that a body of sailors might be landed. Edward's 
appearance in no , way harmonised with the 
importance of his mission, and when watching 
the faces of the officers he despaired of success, 
as they appeared to doubt the truthfulness of 
his story. However, his candid face and his 
evident anxiety to obtain help carried the day, 
and a party of bluejackets was landed. This 
small force and the clever management of the 
Condo?' by its gallant captain, Lord Charles 


Beresford, saved Alexandria ; and later on the 
same ship and same captain earned the praise 
of "Well done, Condor, "" at Fort Mex, thus 
immortalising the name of the ship and that 
of its captain which has become identified with 
the best interests of the Navy, I think this well- 
known incident is worth repeating, if only to 
show the utter incapacity of the oriental mind 
to organise any undertaking properly, and how 
the savoir faire of a few young Englishmen 
enabled the whole rebellion to be cut short. 

Mr Ricketts, Edward Zohrab, and my brother, 
with his great knowledge of the Turks and his 
talent in telling a good story, formed a trio well 
worth listening to on the mysterious political, 
racial, and religious workings in the Near East. 
Everything, alas ! in these countries is worked 
like wheels within wheels, crushing what is worth 
developing and developing what ought to be 

I had to stop at the Dardanelles for two days 
on my return from Constantinople in order to 
wait for the steamer to take me to Salonika. 

By good luck I came across Dr Schliemann, 
the great explorer of Troy, who kindly asked me 
and my two friends to visit his excavations. We 
gladly accepted so unexpected and valuable a 
treat. We first had a short journey by sea and 
then a delightful ride on horseback across fertile 
country which rose gently towards the famous 
old city. Dotted here and there were picturesque 
ruins interspersed with modern Turkish defensive 
works. We reached Dr Schliemann's home, 
perched high like an eagle's nest on a mount of 


some considerable height, just as the glorious 
rays of the setting sun lit up the prehistoric 
remains of Troy. My enthusiasm grew in 
proportion to the beauty of the scene, and our 
gallant host welcomed us in poetic style and 
honoured each of us with the title of one of 
his favourite goddesses or queens. I was 
supposed to impersonate Diana, the huntress, 
while he represented Homer, and loaded me 
with flattering eulogies from the Iliad which 
he quoted with a strong German accent. My 
feminine vanity was flattered to the height of 
my desiring to well impersonate the great 
goddess I represented, and as I was hungry 
after my journey I longed for the nectar she 
had drunk and the ambrosia which had nourished 
her, when casting a glance around my gaze fixed 
itself upon a bottle of beer and a fat German 
sausage ! My illusions of greatness were quickly 
dispelled by so mundane a sight. " Dr Schliemann," 
said I, with a resentful look at the beer and the 
sausage, " it is time I think we retired as we are 
keeping you from your supper." 

Next morning our host sent a smart handsome 
Greek youth with us to be our guide. The 
ordinary business of this young Greek was to 
make friends with the wives and sweethearts of 
the labourers engaged on the excavations, in order 
to extract from them any of the precious finds 
which 'the workmen might have carried home 
in their pockets. I dare not enter into any 
archaeological or historical details of the remains 
of the buried cities we were shown dating from 
the Stone Age, but if I remember rightly we 

156 TROY 

were told that the cities, three in number, built 
on this hill have each in the course of ages 
passed away, submerged by water which left 
behind sea-shells, sand, and debris so deep that 
a second and then a third city was built, each 
one showing steady improvement in the form 
of houses, ornaments, and extent over the 
previous ones. Proofs of the long intervals 
between the three cities were supplied not only 
by the houses and ornaments but by the sea- 
shells and debris left by the receding floods. I 
believe Dr Schliemann's most valued and precious 
finds were made on the part believed to be the 
Grecian Ilium. Numerous skeletons, human 
and animal, were found, with a large amount of 
pottery and a variety of other objects, which 
enabled him to trace the manners and customs 
of the various peoples who had at different 
epochs inhabited this site. We left next day 
after taking a tour round the different excava- 
tions that were being made, and carried away 
a lasting remembrance of the wonderful work 
which Dr and Mrs Schliemann were doing under 
considerable discomforts and difficulties. Troy 
is in such close proximity to the Dardanelles 
that I doubt not that the careful and detailed 
maps which Dr Schliemann took of the whole 
district have proved of great service to the 
Germans in this war — I believe the very 
acropolis of this ancient city has been used as 
a fort. 

The last time I saw Dr Schliemann was in 
London when we both dined at the house of the 
late Mr John Murray. After dinner the lady 


who had sat on his left hand while I had sat on his 
right, said to me, "How on earth did you get 
that German celebrity to talk when all the 
efforts I made to start a conversation with him 

I smiled to myself as I thought of his 
personifying Homer and said to her, " You see 
I have had the great privilege of meeting him in 
the midst of his beloved work and was able to 
ask him how it had progressed." 




Whilst at Constantinople I became much 
interested in the changes in connection with 
the treatment of the women of Turkey, which 
took place subsequent to the death of the much 
regretted Sultan Medjid. Sultan Medjid was 
succeeded by his brother, Sultan Aziz, a person 
of insipid personality, possessing none of the strong 
characteristics of his father nor any of the virtues 
of his brother. The only way in which he 
benefited his country was by the efforts he made 
to create a navy. These efforts did not have 
much practical result, however, owing to mis- 
management and the corrupt administration of 
the naval department. His Majesty possessed 
no fighting tendencies, but reared a regiment of 
fighting cocks which he loved to watch, and 
childishly honoured the most valiant by hanging 
military decorations round their necks. In spite 
of his many failings Sultan Aziz did pretty well 
for the first ten or fifteen years of his reign, owing 
to a number of able Ministers like Ali Pasha, Fuad 
Pasha, Midhat Pasha, and one or two more, 
anxious for reforms and better administration. 



Unfortunately his palace entourage consisted 
of a set of ignorant upstarts who prevailed on him 
to set aside the whole of his old and tried Ministers, 
and to replace them by a new set who traded in 
the purchase and sale of every post of importance 
within and without the capital. All the pashas 
and functionaries who bought these posts, for 
which they had paid heavily, and uncertain as to 
the length of time they were likely to hold them, 
drained in their turn the unfortunate people 
under their jurisdiction. The evils which followed 
this utter disorganisation were great, and ended 
in the dethronement of Sultan Aziz. During his 
imprisonment in Tcheraghan Palace overlooking 
the Bosphorus, and when standing at a window 
one morning he saw one of his men-of-war lying 
at anchor. On the deck was a sailor who took 
his belt from round his waist and bound it round 
his neck, and then walked three times round the 
deck. The Sultan rightly understood this to 
mean that the navy for which he had laboured 
was to be the means by which his death would 
be brought about, and that the three turns the 
sailor had taken round the deck signified that 
in three days he would be murdered. Some of 
the Sultan's ladies who had been allowed to 
accompany him in his imprisonment told me that 
on the third night they heard His Majesty cry 
for help, and that, when discovered dead the 
next morning, his death was found to be due to 
haemorrhage from a severed artery in his arm. 
The rumour was spread abroad that he had 
committed suicide, a rumour which these ladies 
strongly denied, since they declared that not only 


had they heard cries but that a belt belonging 
to the Sultan, worth a fortune owing to the fine 
gems with which it was ornamented, had 

The next monarch to sit on the Imperial 
throne was Sultan Aziz's nephew. Prince Murad, 
a gentle, humane, liberal-minded prince, who for 
years had lived in great seclusion, and who had 
not been permitted to go out of his palace nor to 
receive friends in it. This young prince, taken 
by surprise, and horrified at the tragic fate of 
his uncle, was dragged out of his quiet surround- 
ings and put at the head of affairs. Quite 
unsuited for responsibilities for which he had had 
no training, and unable to cope with the intricacies 
of the corrupt administration he was so suddenly 
called upon to govern, this young prince fell into 
a nervous condition, and after three months' 
troublous reign was deposed in favour of his 
brother. Prince Hamid, who, it is believed, worked 
hard to bring before the people the un desirability 
of Prince Murad's occupation of the throne and 
his own pre-eminent suitability for the position 
of Sultan. A friend of mine told me that during 
Prince Murad's short occupation of the throne 
he went for a drive one day followed by a big 
escort. When passing down the street where my 
friend lived the latter inadvertently opened a 
window, unaware that Prince Murad was passing 
that way ; and this simple act put him in mortal 
fear, as had the knowledge of it reached Prince 
Hamid's ears it would undoubtedly have been 
construed into an act of conspiracy, and he would 
have paid for it with his life. I was present at 


the coronation of the luckless Prince Murad at 
Stamboul, a most interesting sight. A large 
party of English residents, headed by the 
Ambassador and his staff were given most 
excellently placed seats from which to view the 
ceremony, while at the same time they enjoyed 
the friendly attentions of the newly crowned 

As soon as Prince Ham id had consolidated his 
power on the throne he dropped his hypocritical 
mask of modest humiliation, and took within his 
own grasp every branch of the Administration, 
rendering his Ministers, one and all, helpless 
machines who could only move and work subject 
to his personal control and orders. The Sultan's 
helpers in this immense and despicable undertaking 
consisted of a large body of spies who daily and 
hourly brought him information on all that 
happened, or that was supposed to be happening 
in his Empire. This system of controlling every- 
thing himself was enlarged and carried to such 
an extent that even so insignificant a person as a 
sub- lieutenant could not obtain a short leave of 
absence unless the leave was personally approved 
by the Sultan, nor could a governor in the interior 
take a step even in a small matter concerning 
local interests without the Imperial consent and 
approval. Besides the terrible system of spies, 
Sultan Hamid kept in his pay a body of Albanian 
cut-throats, under whose valiant activity men of 
all ranks and of all ages completely disappeared, 
and no family dared ask or try to find out what 
had become of its missing member or members. 
In spite of this terrorising system Sultan Hamid 



managed to reign for thirty-three years, owing to 
his great cunning and ability in safeguarding his 
own Hfe. His system was to help in turn the 
different peoples and countries in his Empire, and 
so soon as he found the favoured country was 
becoming too forward or too strong, to drop it 
and give his Imperial favour to its natural rival. 
In this way there was perpetual discord in 
the units of his Empire but safety for himself. 
The Foreign Office of Turkey was absolutely 
under his sole and personal control, and he 
managed by treachery and false promises to 
hoodwink by turns all the Great Powers. This 
condition of things disgusted the patriotic Turks, 
who found all their zealous efforts to improve 
matters utterly frustrated. 

It was during the zenith of Sultan Hamid's 
power and the extraordinary use he was making of 
it that I determined to spend a week in the vast 
and mysterious city of Stamboul where the elite 
of Turkish society lived. The city was like a city 
of the dead. The streets were silent ; there were 
no carriages or pedestrians ; here and there a 
mangy dog turned over a little heap of refuse. 
Only the bazaars, squares, and business parts of 
Stamboul teemed with crowds of all races and 
nationalities rushing wildly about in pursuit of 
their business. The fine old konaks and palaces 
were silent ; no one was seen at the windows which 
were apparently hermetically sealed, while the 
entrance gates were strongly guarded. Yet crime 
could, and did run a free course in these apparently 
silent houses, similar to the crimes committed in 
monasteries in times gone by ; and none beyond 


those within the walls of the buildings were any 
the wiser of the acts of murder and cruelty that 
were committed there. The gates of the selamlics 
or men's apartments in these silent palaces stood 
always open ; but at the time I visited Stamboul I 
was told that visitors were very rare as the Sultan 
had given strict orders that there should be no free 
intercourse between families or friends. The only 
people who were allowed freedom of entrance were 
the Imperial spies. 

My first visit in Stamboul was to the palace of 
old Dervish Pasha. This palace comprised two 
vast separate portions, the haremlic for the women, 
the selamlic for the men. The apartments were 
carpeted with priceless Turkish carpets and had 
long low sofas running round three sides of the 
walls, spread with rich stuffs and cushions, but the 
whole rendered bizarre and truly oriental by the 
introduction of a few odd chairs and tables of 
common modern European work. 

The family consisted of Dervish Pasha, his 
wife, a sweet, middle-aged lady, his two sons and 
his daughter-in-law, the wife of his younger son. 
I was most kindly received by all, and after sunset 
a most sumptuous dinner was served ; our fingers 
were used in the place of knives and forks. We 
did not dress for dinner ; the great lady took her 
place on the cushioned floor in a sort of white 
cotton tea-gown and with stockingless feet. None 
of the party appeared to have any idea or any 
knowledge of modern modes of living. The sons 
seemed to be utterly uneducated in spite of the 
fact that the younger had married one of the 
daughters of the Sultan, a clever little minx. 


Since she was of the Royal house her husband, 
according to Turkish etiquette, had to stand with 
crossed arms awaiting her permission to sit down 
or her invitation to converse with her. After 
dinner, which the Pasha out of compliment to 
me had honoured with his presence, he returned to 
the selamlic, when his wife, profiting by a few 
moments of freedom, bitterly complained of the 
hard life ladies were compelled to lead under the 
rule of Sultan Hamid. 

'' He allows none of our friends to visit us, but 
instead imposes four of his lady spies on us who 
are in and out of the harem all day long. I dare 
not say a word, and though Allah knows how 
devoted my husband and all of us are to His 
Majesty's interests, yet I tremble for my dear sons 
lest some mischief-making spy reports falsely with 
regard to them." 

The foxy old Dervish Pasha was so full of 
compliment to me with regard to the English 
nation, which I knew at heart he detested, that 
my curiosity was aroused, and I tried to find out 
his object in pretending to admire the English and 
their methods. Not to my surprise but to my 
disgust, I found that he daily collected numerous 
members of the Ulema (priestly) order about him, 
and that with much care he was preparing them to 
go to India on a mission to stir up the hatred of 
the Mohammedan population against the British 

My impressions on leaving the palace of 
Dervish Pasha after a couple of nights under his 
apparently hospitable roof were of the saddest. 
I felt that since for his own personal interests 


Dervish Pasha, greatly hated by the people, was 
aiding the Sultan in his various nefarious practices 
the outlook for the future of Turkey was grave, 
and that sooner or later a catastrophe must occur. 
My next visit, to the harem of the Minister of 
Police, proved more interesting than that to the 
palace of Dervish Pasha as it brought me into 
closer relationship with the feminine element, an 
element most difficult for an outsider to know in 
that wonderful Empire of Turkey. The Turkish 
woman lacks neither intelligence, feeling, nor 
dignity, but hampered as she is by insurmountable 
religious prejudices, by lack of freedom and 
knowledge of the world, she has no chance of 
moral development. My friend, Fatime Hanoum 
EfFendi, a gifted, intelligent lady, was delighted to 
see me after the lapse of a number of years, and at 
once broached the subject of feminine grievances, 
saying that everything had gone from bad to 
worse under Hamid's cruel, despotic rule. "We 
now," said she, '*have lost even the little liberty 
we formerly enjoyed. We are shut up like my 
canaries in their cage .to pine indoors and to peep 
through our barred windows as they do through 
the bars of their cage, while we long for liberty, 
life, and knowledge such as the rest of the world 
enjoys. Surrounded as we are by police spies and 
prevented from meeting our friends, unable to talk 
on any subject, even the question of dress is placed 
under strict control, what can we do ? A few of 
us who have the courage to defy these ridiculous 
orders have to pay dearly for it by having our 
cloaks cut to shreds in the streets, obliging us to 
return home hurriedly and making us objects of 


disgrace to all who see us. Under such circum- 
stances as these, and there are others far more 
serious, how can our nation hope to progress ? 
What we need is free intercourse with our friends 
and relations, both men and women, when the 
supposed soulless woman could prove her worth 
by sharing in the responsibilities of life, thus 
lightening its burden." 

"I am glad," added Fatime Hanoum, ''that 
you chose the season of Ramazan for your visit 
as you will notice with interest how this holy 
month, when we fast during the day and feast 
during the night, is spent by us in Stamboul, 
when most of the closed doors of the konaks are 
open in hospitality to rich and poor, and alas ! to 
Hamid's spies also, who hover about like bees 
round a hive* In spite of the strictness enjoined 
at ordinary times, at this season we are allowed to 
drive down the main streets, teeming with crowds 
of men loitering about in search of some chance 
fortune, as we leave the Mosque of St Sophia after 
service, when indignities and rudenesses are offered 
to us in a way that I am sure would shock you. 
By the bye, this evening ladies are allowed to take 
part in the service at the Mosque seated behind 
the lattice work of the part reserved for them. 
Though out of sight of the congregation of men 
we can both see the solemn ceremony and take 
part in the service. If you care to come with me 
dressed like a Turkish woman, and you do not 
mind the risk of some unpleasant adventure, do 
come, as you are sure to be interested." 

I willingly accepted, confident that no one 
would be likely to pierce through my disguise, and 


fortunately for me there was no question of having 
to put on the abominable yellow slippers. My 
instructions before we left were as follows : — 

When we leave the carriage at the door of the 
Mosque you must on no account get separated 
from two strong women guides who will be one on 
each side of you, even if pushed and pinched and 
hustled generally by young Turkish sparks. On 
no account look up or answer anybody who might 
address you, and once safely in the Mosque sit 
by your hostess' side and perform the external 
ceremony of worship exactly as she does. 

The enclosure set aside for the women 
worshippers was so crowded with ladies, old and 
young, that it needed great efforts on the part of 
the two guides, veritable old hags, to push their 
way towards the front and get us good seats so 
that we might watch the ceremony and follow the 
service. The sight appeared to me so imposingly 
solemn and impressive that, forgetting all my 
friend's instructions, I stared at the grand sight 
before me, when she whispered, *' In Allah's name 
attend and do exactly as I and all the other 
women do. Should you be suspected of being a 
Ghiaour (infidel) the old hags here will tear you to 
pieces ; as it is they are already staring at you and 
whispering among themselves." 

I needed no further warning ; but while taking 
all care I was still able to watch with the greatest 
interest the ensemble of that lovely Mosque, lit 
up by thousands of lamps swaying gently in 
harmony with the devout attitudes of the 
worshippers, who looked so entirely absorbed 
in their prayers to Allah and Mahomet his 


prophet, that I felt sorry their solemn address 
was not to Allah alone, free from the superstitious 
influence of a false prophet by whose decrees no 
belief in or justice to women was permitted, and 
no mercy possible to anyone outside the pale of 
the Moslem world. As we left the Mosque we 
found a still bigger crowd watching for the exit 
of the women worshippers towards whom I found 
the conduct of the young Turks impudent and 
disorderly. They pushed themselves close to 
the various carriage doors, addressing rude 
remarks to the occupants whom they tried to 
pinch. One or two of these impudent young 
men who tried to get near me had to give up 
the attempt, as I was well protected on each 
side by the repulsive but useful guides who did 
not spare these young men in language or in 
blows, much to the amusement of the onlookers. 
As we went along the main street thronged with 
promenaders our carriage was followed in spite 
of an escort of police. All kinds of things were 
thrown into the carriage, billets-doux, fruit, flowers, 
bonbons, and lighted cigarettes. My friend 
Fatime, greatly to my surprise, instead of feeling 
shocked or scandalised, appeared to enjoy the 
fun saying, " This is our Carnival, and the 
freedom it affords us is so great and so rare 
that we willingly pass over what to you must 
appear to be both improper and unseemly." 

Although I found the ladies I met at her 
house intelligent and liberal-minded, yet they 
lacked the refinement of an educated European 
woman, doubtless owing to the want of a sound 
education and a lack of worldly knowledge. I 


paid one or two other visits in Stamboul and 
noticed much discontent among the younger 
generation wherever I went, a discontent that 
seemed to me to be on the whole of a whole- 
some nature, but I saw no hope of their ideals 
being attained. I felt that possibly in time 
some improvement in the conditions of life for 
the women of Turkey might come, but I felt 
convinced it would not be during the reign of 
Sultan Hamid. 

My last visit was to our dear old friend 
Raouf Pasha, one of the witnesses to my 
marriage at Monastir. I found him very much 
down on his luck, expressing, like so many of 
the other old friends I had met, his regret at 
being unable to go and see my husband for 
fear of giving offence to the Sultan, who strictly 
opposed any friendly intercourse of his Ministers 
with persons outside his own entourage, Raouf 
told me that, as it was, he was far from enjoying 
the Sultan's favour, and would have been placed 
on the list of the disgraced but for the great 
need the Sultan had of him in his diplomatic 
relations with European Powers, and went on 
to say, "When my opposition to some of his 
proposed acts becomes determined he tries me 
with bribes which I politely refuse." 

As my companion Mademoiselle Jeanne came 
at this moment, the Pasha insisted on keeping 
us to dinner. I was glad to stay for the sake 
of our old friendship and the charm of his 
personality, which he still retained in spite of 
the many restrictions imposed upon him by 
Sultan Hamid. Raouf Pasha dined with us. 


and after dinner his wife dressed in her rich 
court costume of embroidered satin and delicate 
veil honoured us by bringing us our coffee herself. 
The coffee was served in dainty little gold cups 
studded with diamonds, and fulfilled the triple 
desiderata of Turkish coffee, namely, that it 
should be as " Sweet as love, as strong as death, 
as hot as hate." 

Our evening spent with His Excellency and 
his harem was most pleasant, and he kindly sent 
us back to our hotel in Pera in one of his 
carriages. When seated in the carriage I noticed 
two ugly faces flattening their noses against the 
glass door trying to get a good look at us. The 
persons to whom the faces belonged followed the 
carriage, while at every turn of the road other 
undesirable looking people joined them, so that 
quite a number of them were present at the door 
of the hotel when we alighted. These people 
ranged themselves in a circle round the hotel 
door in order to get a good look at us as we 
entered. I asked the porter who these people 
were and what their object was. He only 
laughed and said, "Madam, you need not 
trouble about these people. They are only the 
Sultan's police spies anxious to find out who 
His Excellency Raouf Pasha's guests were and 
where they were going." 

Next morning Raouf Pasha received a pressing 
message from the Sultan requesting his presence 
at the palace. 

" Who were your guests last night," said his 
Majesty in a suspicious way. 

"My guests," replied Raouf Pasha, "were 


Mrs Blunt and her companion, old friends who 
I was very glad to see." 

"Mash Allah, Mash Allah (Thanks be to 
God, Thanks be to God). The Blunts are good 
friends of Turkey. I am pleased you received 
the hanoum. Give her my compliments next 
time you meet her, and tell her I am sorry not 
to have seen her at the selamlic for a long time." 

This gracious message was an act of courtesy 
on the part of His Majesty which I do not pretend 
to have deserved after all I had thought and said 
about his mischievous mania for sacrificing the 
lives of so many innocent people in his endeavour 
to secure the safety of his own. 




My husband was temporarily transferred to 
Adrianople during the Turco- Russian War 
(1877), and for several reasons I felt that 1 
might well spend the time of liis enforced absence 
from Salonika in a visit to England. In those 
troublous times no British official or his family 
could avoid being mixed up with the general 
current of events. 

The Consulate was left in the temporary charge 
of Mr Suter, Vice-Consul at Volo. Mr Suter was 
a dear old gentleman but so nervous that on 
hearing that he must proceed in his official 
capacity on board a man-of-war that had just 
come into the bay he sent a message to say that 
it was too great a responsibility, and that I must 
telegraph to Mr Blunt for someone else to be 
sent in his place. Feeling at a loss as to what I 
ought to do I drove at once to his hotel where, to 
my dismay, I found him in bed almost suffocated 
by the fumes of a charcoal brazier, which would 
have killed him but for my timely arrival. When 
I got him round from his partial suffocation he 
was shaking all over in a condition of nervous 



fright, and declared he would not face a man-of-war 
and that I must do my best to send someone else. 
Fortunately on my return to the Consulate I 
found the captain who had come in to see what 
was amiss. I explained the situation and begged 
him to express my regrets to the commander-in- 
chief, who not only kindly overlooked the lack of 
formalities but was the first to call at the Consulate. 
In the meantime I did my best with the Turkish 
authorities and attended to a number of other 
details such as my husband would have done. I 
felt greatly comforted on receiving a telegram 
from my husband saying that Mr S. would soon 
be relieved. At the end of a week Mr B. who 
was to relieve Mr S. arrived with his wife and 
daughter, a trio unsuited, so it seemed to me, 
for the position they were to occupy. Mr B., I 
learnt later, had earned the honour of representing 
the English Government by aiding some Member 
of Parliament who had been stranded in the part 
of Asia Minor where Mr B. lived. This gentle- 
man in return for the hospitality shown him 
had obtained for Mr B. the post of Consul. Be 
this as it may, the impression Mr B. made on 
the naval officers was unfavourable, and when 
some of them were talking about him, ignorant 
of the presence of the two ladies, he was described 
as an imbecile who had no right to be at Salonika, 
when Miss B. got up in a huff, very natural under 
the circumstances, and said, "My papa is not an 

It annoyed me very much that Mr B. insisted 
on taking me under his official care, since the 
Governor and Dervish Pasha, who was Com- 


mander- in -chief at that time of the Forces in 
Macedonia, were most attentive, inquiring daily 
after me and often coming to see if I needed any 
help. Dervish Pasha, the old hypocrite, used to 
make himself so much at home at the Consulate 
that when he came in the afternoon he would order 
one of the maids to spread his carpet of prayer and 
would go through his Namaz, very likely praying 
Allah and his prophet to forgive the crime of his 
doing so in the presence of a Ghiaour. 

If he did, he would have been like one of the 
Sheiks-ul- Islam at Constantinople who, on receiv- 
ing a visit from Mr Alis'on, the First Secretary at 
the Embassy, who was a fine Arabic scholar, called 
for his prayer carpet and devoutly petitioned Allah 
and Mahomet to forgive him addressing a dog of 
an infidel. When this devout Moslem had finished, 
Mr Alison asked permission to use the sacred 
carpet for the same holy purpose, and kneeling 
down he repeated a form of prayer in excellent 
Arabic, and ended with a special appeal to the 
Almighty to forgive him holding speech with a 
dog of a Mohammedan. The Sheik -ul- Islam 
learnt his lesson while Mr Alison enjoyed the 

At that time Albanians began to crowd into 
the streets of Salonika boasting that a big Albanian 
force was marching on the town, which news very 
naturally alarmed the Christian element. I did 
not credit the rumour, but, as our faithful Hussein 
Aga was with my husband in Adrianople, I thought 
it wise to ask Dervish Pasha to send a trustworthy 
policeman who could be in the house since our 
position was rather isolated. About dusk a wild- 


looking, powerful Turk came in, salaamed, and 
said that Dervish Pasha had sent him to guard the 
house. I did not like the look of the man and 
liked much less his boastful manner. I therefore 
ordered him to remain outside the house and guard 
the door. As we were about to retire for the 
night one of the maids, Kusha, opened the door 
and walked in the direction of the garden gate, 
where she came across the policeman very drunk 
and excited. Drawing his sword he rushed on 
Kusha calling her a dog of a Ghiaour whose head 
would have to go. Kusha rushed into the house, 
locked and barred the door, and came upstairs 
breathless, followed by the two blackies who 
were trembling with fear. The beast of a man 
hammered at the door, calling out that he must 
come in. I knew the native character and the 
best way to impose upon it, so I opened a window 
and ordered him, with an apparent bravery, to 
leave the house at once and not to show his face 
again if he hoped to keep his head on his shoulders. 
On my repeating the order with still greater force 
he turned away and stumbled in the direction of 
the gate and cleared out. We watched him till 
he had gone some way down the street when the 
maids ran out and locked the gate. We locked 
and barred all the doors and shutters, but in spite 
of this we had but little sleep, watching for a 
possible return of our drunken pphceman and 
packing in readiness for our voyage to Marseilles 
on the morrow. My party consisted of myself, 
my boy and his governess (Miss Garnett), and 
his nurse Milly the blackie who had had charge 
of him since his birth. 


My decision to go to England and to stay 
there until my husband could return from 
Adrianople, proved a success. No sooner had I 
set foot on the soil of the dear old homeland than 
I felt that restful peace and relief which is so 
greatly appreciated by those whose lot it is to 
Uve in wild unsettled countries, where wars and 
massacres come unexpectedly, and where it is 
difficult to escape from their brutal effects. It 
was fortunate that in those now somewhat remote 
times discords leading to wars affected only a 
comparatively small number of people, whilst in 
this so-called civilised twentieth century, alas ! 
the evil has taken so general a line, that hardly 
any part of the world appears to be free from its 
baneful blight. So far, Malta can be described 
as one of the few happy exceptions. Even on the 
question of food, thanks to the untiring efforts of 
His Excellency, Lord Methuen, we have been 
better off than elsewhere. Prices have, of course, 
gone up, and eggs and a few other luxuries are 
not to be found every day in the market, but 
these things are mere trifles. 

My stay in England lasted nearly a year and 
gave me ample time to finish my book. The People 
of Turkey, There was a threatened delay in 
publishing it, owing to someone inaccurately 
describing it to my husband as a book dead 
against Turkq.y and in favour of Russia. Naturally 
at that moment (1878) it would not have been 
desirable to publish a book with such a tendency, 
consequently both my husband and Sir Henry 
Layard asked me to hold it back, as it might be 
objectionable to the Government. The thought 


of delay in publishing was a great blow to me, 
but I was fortunate enough to be able to avert it 
by mentioning the incident to Lady Salisbury, 
who asked me the name of my publisher. On 
hearing that Mr John Murray was bringing the 
book out, she said, ** Oh ! that must be all right, 
as Murray would never publish a book opposed 
to the views of the Government, but, to make 
sure on this point, I will ask Mr Murray to send 
me the proof sheets which I will look over, and 
will consult with Lord Salisbury as to the 
publication of the work." 

This most kind offer of Lady Salisbury soon 
settled the matter, and the opposition of my 
husband and Sir Henry Layard vanished when 
I wrote and told them of Lady Salisbury's kind 
action. The book, which is out of print now, 
was based on genuine facts free from all political 
questions with regard to Turkey and her people, 
while these memoirs, equally based on facts, but 
written in a freer manner, may, I hope, prove 
equally interesting to those who desire to know 
sometlaing of life in the Near East. 

During my stay in London I had the privilege 
of a long talk with Mr Gladstone, whom I met 
at dinner at the house of the Marchioness of Bath. 
Mr Gladstone showed great interest in our con- 
versation, especially regarding the unsettled state 
of Bulgaria, and wanted to know whether the 
Bulgarians would rest content with what they 
had got. I said, *' Certainly not, as a country 
divided into two would not rest contented till it 
had got back all it could." The conversation 
then turned on Turkey and England's influence 



over her. Although at the time I was a great 
admirer of Mr Gladstone, I could not help 
expressing the prevalent opinion in Turkey of 
the great harm his anti-Turkish policy had 
effected, and illustrated what I said by two or 
three examples, showing the great and powerful 
influence England had enjoyed in former times, 
and the very low position she now occupied in 
the opinion of Turkey. I do not think that Mr 
Gladstone much liked to dwell on this subject, 
but nevertheless both he and Mrs Gladstone were 
very kind to me, and said a lot of flattering things 
about my husband, in spite of the fact that my 
husband's political views were not in harmony 
with those of Mr Gladstone. I feel sure that Mr 
Gladstone was too great a statesman to ignore 
the merit of those who were opposed to him in 
political opinion. 

I arrived in England in the height of the 
season when Hyde Park teemed with crowds of 
well-dressed people promenading in the spring 
sunshine, while Nature's soft green carpet and 
floral array made a pleasant background, and was 
repeated in the miniature gardens on the terraces 
and balconies of pretty houses and stately mansions. 
The fine shops too were full of the luxuries of the 
season. Cares and worries seemed left far behind. 
The whole ensemble of a London season make a 
most striking impression on visitors from abroad, 
who witness on a fine day a picture not to be 
seen elsewhere. I have heard many foreigners 
express this feeling, whilst others regret not being 
able to visit England owing to their ignorance 
of the language. Lady Burdett-Coutts, to whom 


Sir Henry Layard had kindly given me a letter 
of introduction, sent me a card of invitation for 
all her receptions for the season. I much admired 
the sweet dignity of the hostess, and the beauty 
of the lovely gems which ornamented her evening 
gown at the first of her receptions I went to. 
After the exchange of a few kind courtesies, I 
found myself in a densely crowded room, but to 
my disappointment I did not see a single person 
I knew. Feeling rather out of it I sat down 
beside a solitary lady on the chance of getting 
into conversation with her. Unfortunately the 
lady was a strict disciplinarian on the question of 
etiquette, such as the French at that time, less 
acquainted with the English than they are to-day, 
represented as a people who would not make an 
effort to save a drowning person unless they had 
been previously introduced, and limited her replies 
to a distant " Ye-es " and so pointed a *' No " to 
the two trifling remarks I made, that I thought 
it best to go elsewhere in the hope of better 
success. At the opposite end of the room I 
noticed a group of young people in lively conversa- 
tion. I worked my way in their direction and 
accosted a young man gesticulating to a very 
pretty girl, and said in a sympathetic way, " What 
a pity such a pretty girl should be dumb," when 
he replied to me by pointing to his own mouth 
and ears, and made me understand that he too 
was deaf and dumb ! I had a third unhappy 
experience in my efforts to make friends, and then 
beat a retreat and quietly walked to the supper- 
room, when, after enjoying some delicious dainties, 
I got into my carriage and drove home. I was 


more fortunate at a few other receptions I went 
to, meeting old and making new friends. But 
the reception which stands out par excellence in 
my memory was that given by the Foreign Office 
to Lord Beaconsfield after he had been invested 
with the Order of the Garter. It was a grand 
and beautiful sight. All the Royal Family were 
there, with the exception of Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria. The foreign representatives were in 
full state uniform, vieing in colour with the ladies' 
lovely dresses. I was delighted to have had the 
opportunity of taking part in so interesting a 
reception, and though only the wife of an official 
in troubled Macedonia, I left the Foreign Office 
probably the happiest of its guests, for on meeting 
Lord Salisbury he stopped me and asked me when 
I was going back to Salonika. "That depends 
on your Lordship," said I. "Why, I am not 
keeping you here." "No, but considering that 
for nearly two years my husband has been with 
the disorganised Turkish Army under the very 
guns of the Russians, following this dreadful 
Russo-Turkish War, I am not going to leave 
London unless I have something good to tell 
him." This was an inspired little speech on my 
part which must have amused Lord Salisbury, as 
he began to praise my husband and added that 
no one in the Service had done such valuable 
work as he had. I bowed, thanked him, and 
added that I feared that would not be enough. 
He laughed and said, "Well, in a day or two 
you will hear something good." " In that case," 
I replied, " I will begin to pack up." On the 
third day I received a note from Sir Philip Currie, 


the Under-Secretary of State, telling me that my 
husband had been appointed Consul-General at 
Salonika, and that my request that my expenses 
to England and back should be paid had been 
considered just, and that I should receive a 
cheque for the amount from the Treasury. 
Needless to say the news of these two important 
matters was a pleasant surprise to me, whilst my 
husband was much gratified to learn that his 
efforts to serve the Government to the best of 
his ability had been recognised. 

Another pleasant surprise soon followed. On 
a warm bright day about the middle of May, 
Milly, the blackie, came to tell me that a gentleman 
had asked to see me but had given no name. I 
told her to show the visitor up, wondering who it 
could be. A fine handsome man, past middle age, 
dressed in a long sheepskin coat that went down 
to his knees, walked in. I could not hide my 
surprise, and wondered whether my visitor was 
quite right in his mind to come out in so wintry a 
coat on a hot day in the middle of the London 
season. He warmly shook hands with me, saying, 
'* I am Lord Lucan — you must be surprised to see 
me in this sheepskin coat, but I put it on in 
memory of your good husband who had secured it 
as a precious possession during the Crimean War. 
When I asked him to get a similar coat for me he 
insisted on giving me his own, and it proved of 
such great service to me that I put it on to-day in 
order that you might see it, as I want you to tell 
him how much I appreciated the gift." I thought 
it most kind of Lord Lucan, who I had never met 
before, to come and see me and talk so nicely 


about my husband, who had begun his career in 
the Service by being attached to Lord Lucan's 
staff as First Interpreter to the British Forces in the 
Crimea. In consequence of my husband's useful 
services and the part he took in the Battle of 
Balaclava, he was awarded the Crimean Medal and 
clasps and the decoration of the Turkish Medjidie, 
which he valued with the friendship and confidence 
of his chief (Lord Lucan) to whom he became 
deeply attached. 

Though alone in London and not knowing 
many people yet the little I saw of society greatly 
charmed me and made me feel prouder than ever 
of the superiority of the English nation. 

My return to Salonika preceded my husband's 
return as he had to remain at Adrianople during 
the Russian occupation, when he earned further 
approval in his difficult task of trying to settle the 
local questions in which the Russians, Roumanians, 
Turks, and Christians were concerned. 

Shortly before my return a new Russian 
Consul had been appointed to Salonika who had 
been with the Russian Army on the Shipka Pass. 
On learning that Mr Blunt, whose return to 
Salonika was daily expected, was Consul-General 
at Salonika he was heard to say, " Blunt, Blunt, 
surely he cannot be the same man I was ordered 
to —  — ! " and he made a click with his mouth, 
and passing his hand round his neck he made his 
friends understand that he been empowered to cut 
Mr Blunt's throat if he could. He called on me 
and I found him to be such a nice-looking, refined 
man that in spite of his having been ordered to try 
and compass my husband's death I asked him to 


come to lawn tennis on the following day, an invita- 
tion he gladly accepted. Unfortunately the fates 
willed it otherwise. The poor fellow, whilst washing 
his hands before coming to the Consulate, dropped 
down and was found in a dying condition by his 
faithful kavass. The kavass, horrified, rushed for 
the doctor and came to me for assistance. I went 
at once, and I shall never forget the impression of 
that room of death where the young fellow lay 
stretched on the floor. A bright ray of sunlight 
played on his face, and an old doctor bent over him 
trying to feel his pulse, while a solemn group of 
ten fat, well-fed Russian monks stood by watching. 
As I came in the doctor rose, looked at the monks, 
and asked whether one of them would be willing 
to be bled as there might be some chance of 
saving the patient if some fresh blood could be 
transfused into his veins. The monks in answer 
to this appeal one and all cleared out, while the 
kavass, a lean Albanian, came forward stretching 
out both his bared arms saying, ''Doctor, doctor, 
take all the blood out of me so long as you save 
my master's life." 

The doctor then asked me to help him. I 
willingly assented to this request, thinking at the 
same time of the mysterious ways of Providence 
that made me be called upon to help to try to 
bring back to life the man who, had he had the 
chance, would have taken from me the life of my 
precious husband. 



After the Russo-Turkish War was ended, peace 
was patched up by the Berlin Conference on 
promises made by Sultan Hamid, promises which, 
by the way, he never intended to keep. This 
peace only succeeded in promoting discontent 
among the interested parties and gave Turkey a 
breathing time after her late exertions. 

Turkey at that time possessed a great states- 
man and an honest man, Midhat Pasha, who 
endeavoured to bring about reforms on the basis 
of a constitutional government, and was apparently 
allowed a certain amount of freedom of action by 
Sultan Hamid. So hopeful did internal affairs 
look that my husband and other well-wishers of 
Turkey began to think that an era of better 
management of Turkish affairs had begun. It 
was at this juncture that Sir Hubert E. H. 
Jerningham wrote the following clever notes of 
my husband, which I have recently found in his 
private correspondence : — 

" En Bulgarie a ce qu'on dit, 
Vous avez fait merveille, 
De Salonique il m'est ecrit 
Le Turc par vous s'eveille. 



Recevez done mon compliment 

Dans la vieille Angleterre, 
Car on rencontre rarement 

Votre taille sur terre." 

Tm said to be a polyglot, 

Le "glot" n'est pas terme "poli" 

What I may be I do not wot 
Si ce n'est que je suis I'ami. 

But His Majesty, Sultan Hamid, set to work 
after a short time to frustrate the efforts of 
Midhat Pasha and persecuted this great reformer 
and his two colleagues, one of whom was Hamid's 
brother-in-law, by exiling them to Asia Minor, 
where, after torturing and starving the unfortunate 
trio for a time, he had them assassinated, when 
Midhat's head was placed in a case and sent to the 
Sultan at His Imperial Palace Yildiz labelled, 
*' Old Antiquities," to demonstrate to His Majesty 
that his commands had been carried out. This 
tragic calamity made Mr Blunt, who had been a 
great friend of Midhat, feel that he must give up 
all hope of the reformation of Turkey. It was 
about this time that Sultan Hamid caused seven 
of his Ministers to be murdered, and after their 
deaths had been accomplished he was heard to say 
" Turkey needs a Hamid." 

My husband's promotion to the position of 
Consul- General over a vast area necessitated our 
moving to a larger house on my return from 
England, so that the Chancellerie could be under 
the roof where we lived. 

We fortunately secured a fine old two-storied 
konak, from the front of which we had glorious 
views over the Bay of Salonika and Mount 


Olympus. There was a large garden with carriage 
drive and main entrance, at what may be described 
as the back of the house. A wide entrance led 
into a palatial hall, which in oriental fashion had 
numerous windows, while ten spacious rooms 
opened on to the hall. The upper floor was 
similar to the ground-floor, but in addition there 
was a wide terrace, from which we enjoyed the 
views and the sunsets. 

I at first felt rather puzzled over the important 
question of furnishing this grand old palace. 
However, with the aid of carpets and oriental 
stuff's, which I had collected during many years, 
of old Spanish chests, beautifully carved, brought 
by the exiled Jews to Salonika, of Chinese 
porcelain from Bulgaria and many other treasures, 
I transformed the old palace into a comfortable 

The next few years passed quietly. We had 
our excitements certainly, one of which was one of 
the recurrent great fires, which destroyed a great 
part of the town but fortunately stopped short of 
the powder magazine. 

Several distinguished visitors came to Salonika, 
one of whom was Archduke Stephan of Austria. 
The Prince one morning paid an early, unofficial 
visit to my husband, and in his charming way 
asked whether he could see me. My husband 
sent him up to me telling Hussein to announce 
that an Austrian officer desired to see me. I was 
struck by the Archduke's fine personality and we 
entered into an animated conversation. I had 
no notion who he was and his incognito gave a 
piquancy to the situation ; he went for a drive 


with me, and when we came back my husband told 
me who my visitor was. I learned later that 
encounters of this kind were amongst Archduke 
Stephan's greatest pleasures. 

This visit was shortly followed by an equally 
interesting one from M. Leon de Tinseau, a 
French author, who was much interested in 
Turkish affairs, and who was good enough on the 
strength of my having written a book on The 
People of Turkey to call me a collegue de 
profession, I was much amused at this title 
of importance, to which I hardly felt I had a 

The Italian Fleet paid one or two visits to 
Salonika, and every now and then one of our 
British men-of-war looked in and anchored in the 
Bay for a few days. It was during these years 
that my boy used to come back from Wellington 
to spend his holidays with us, and later on when at 
Oxford he brought friends with him to enjoy the 
splendid sport that the country afforded. At 
times we paid flying visits to Constantinople, when 
we stayed with my brother and were kept au 
courant with the affairs of the Near East by our 
friendship with the successive ambassadors, and by 
our intercourse with the various Turkish officials, 
most of whom we had known for years. 

It was on one of these visits to Constantinople 
that a ball was given at his palace by Fouad 
Pasha. A party of the guests asked me whether 
they might be permitted to visit the harem. I 
said I thought so and spoke to Fouad Pasha who 
at once assented, took a key from his pocket, and 
proceeded to unlock the door leading to the ladies' 


apartments. Several of the guests in their pretty 
ball dresses passed through the door and were 
being followed by some of the attaches of the 
various embassies, when Fouad Pasha quietly 
turned towards the latter, and with a smiling face 
said, "Messieurs, je le regrette, mais vous n*etes 
aceredit^s qua la Porte." 

But in 1888 a new era began, for it was in 
that year that we learnt that the Mediterranean 
Squadron was about to visit Salonika, under the 
command of H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, and 
accompanied by H.R.H. Prince George and 
Prince Louis of Battenberg. We were delighted 
at the news, and determined to have in readiness 
everything we could think of that would be 
agreeable for our guests whose presence in 
Salonika was taken as an indication of the future 
policy of the British Government. The Turks, 
who always had a liking for the English, appeared 
pleased on hearing the news, while the rest of the 
population was jubilant, each in its own sphere 
hoping to derive some benefit from so important 
an event. 

When it was announced that the Squadron was 
sighted, Turks, Greeks, Bulgars, and Jews gathered 
in crowds on the shore and watched the arrival of 
the men-of-war with admiration, not unmixed with 
fear as to the direction the great power of England 
would take in the near future. I sat on our terrace 
and my heart palpitated with joy as I watched the 
Queen of the Seas glide majestically into the Bay 
and cast anchor facing Mount Olympus, the 
mountain from which the Grecian gods and 
immortals had darted their projectiles of thunder 


and liglitning, while below, by contrast, the guns 
of the Squadron thundered to announce its arrival. 
This contrast marked the great evolution time had 
worked, transforming the poetical into real and 
more effective power. 

The visit of the Squadron lasted ten days and 
gave fresh life and animation to the town. On 
the day following the arrival, I had the honour of 
entertaining at luncheon T.R.H. the Duke of 
Edinburgh, Prince George, and Prince Louis of 
Battenberg, and several of the captains, among 
whom were Captain Boyes, Captain Alington, 
Captain Cardale, Captain Rice, Captain Pringle, 
and Captain Palliser. 

I was much struck by the sound common sense 
the Duke displayed in the knowledge of what was 
necessary in the surroundings of Government 
officials, for the maintenance and dignity of the 
position of England. His Royal Highness com- 
plimented us on the house we had acquired for the 
Consulate, and said how different it was from other 
consulates he had visited, and how he wished the 
Government had more consuls like my husband. 
Perhaps some of my readers will find no more 
interest in Consular abodes in the Near East than 
did some of those in authority at home. Never- 
theless, the subject happens to be an old one and 
a most important one to England, as well as to 
members of the Consular Service. On one occa- 
sion when the subject was before the House of 
Commons a Member of the Opposition suggested, 
"That consuls or Government representatives 
might live in tents." It is largely due to ignor- 
ance of this kind and ignorance of the value of the 


Near East to England that matters have reached 
the present muddle. 

A few days after the arrival of the Squadron 
we gave a ball, when everybody in Salonika was 
asked to meet the Royal guests. Mr Blunt and 
I felt some misgivings as to the success of this 
ball, but thanks to the kind help of Mr Viscovitch, 
the Austrian Consul- General, in the arrangement 
of the reception, all went off very well. There 
was much variety in the obeisance of the ladies, 
some knelt on the ground, others salaamed, but 
many of the younger ladies, pretty and well 
dressed, curtsied gracefully. We arranged that 
there should be no introductions since all were 
our friends, but I was much charmed by Prince 
George who always came up to me and said, " Do 
you think, Mrs Blunt, that young lady," indicating 
some one, " would like to dance with me ? " 

This request on his part greatly pleased me, as 
young as he was he must have already acquired 
some knowledge of human nature, and have known 
how the honour of dancing with him must have 
been appreciated. His choice invariably fell on 
the right person. 

My husband asked one of the Duke's aides- 
de-camp whether we could know if the Duke was 
pleased with our arrangements, he replied, '' If you 
see His Royal Highness take only one refreshing 
drink be sure he is not pleased, if two, leave him 
alone, he is quite contented." 

To my joy my husband came to me when the 
Duke left and said, " It is all right, my dear, the 
Duke has had three drinks." 

When I thought I had said good-night to all 


our guests, to my surprise I found a fat Armenian 
lady covered with jewels comfortably ensconced in 
the corner of a sofa, smoking a cigarette, looking 
as if she intended to stay there. I suggested to 
her that the house had to be closed. "Yes, 
Janoum" (my heart), said she, "but it is still 
dark and I dare not go into the streets lest some 
one should attack me and rob me of my precious 

" Do not be afraid," said I, " I will give orders 
to one of the Consulate guard to take you to your 

At a garden party given by Monsieur Charnaud 
a British subject, a young nephew of my husband 
was walking along one of the pathways down which 
I was conducting the Prince. This small boy, 
Turkish fashion, kept his hat on as a token of 
respect. I told him in Greek to take his hat off, 
when the Prince laughingly exclaimed, " I under- 
stood what you said, you told him to take his hat 
off." The Prince who was fond of his cousins at 
Athens must have picked up some modern Greek 
when he was there. 

A big shoot was arranged at Catarina to which 
Prince George did not go. I asked him if he 
would like me to arrange a little dance for him at 
the Consulate free from formalities. He gladly 
accepted and I think enjoyed the dance. He 
was much amused next day to hear it said that I 
had invited all the cream of Salonika to meet him 
and had left all the sour milk behind. 

The Duke's At Home on board the flagship 
Alexandra was a great success, largely owing to 
my husband's direction of the dances, to which he 


added some novelties of his own and made it so 
lively and amusing that Prince George said, " It 
is worth coming to Salonika to dance a quadrille 
under Mr Blunt's direction." 

On certain days people of all nationalities and 
of all classes were allowed to visit the'men-of-war, a 
privilege they greatly enjoyed, and great amazement 
was felt and expressed at the order and discipline 
which prevailed on board. The native people 
were filled with wonder at the power, strength, 
and harmonious  organisation of the Navy, since 
these qualities are foreign to the oriental character, 
as well as at the energy and activity of the sailors 
and the variety of their sports. The Governor 
sat by me during a tug-of-war between the officers 
and men, which he watched with the greatest ad- 
miration and said, " Now I understand the power 
and greatness of the English nation which, unlike 
ours, is reared from childhood in the practice of 
physical and moral powers." 

This dear old pasha, fat and listless, judged 
and condemned his nation from his own personal 
experience. In order to comfort him I said, 
^'EiFendi, you should bear in mind the natural 
wealth of the country Providence has given you, 
where there is little need for energy for those who, 
like your people, are content with Nature's gifts." 

Owing to my husband's insistence that the 
Turkish authorities must be responsible for the 
safety of the officers and men of our ships who 
came on shore, nothing untoward ever happened, 
beyond perhaps the smashing of a few panes of 
glass by some one or more men who had indulged 
rather freely. Food and drink at that time were 


abundant and pure, and our men spent a good 
deal of their pocket-money on the good fat geese 
and turkeys which were to be had so cheaply in 
those days. Occasionally a sailor had some fancy 
of his own which caused much amusement, as 
when one, with his pockets well furnished with 
gold, could think of no better way of spending 
some of it than in the purchase of a small donkey. 
He deemed his pet worthy of special attention, 
and took it to the chief barber in Salonika and 
requested him to shave it. The barber indignantly 
refused, considering it beneath his dignity to do 
so, but the persistent bluejacket put his hand in his 
pocket and brought out and placed on the counter 
a sovereign. The golden piece proved so alluring 
that the barber put his dignity aside and shaved, 
perfumed, and powdered the little donkey, which 
showed its whole-hearted disapproval of the 
performance by braying and kicking all the 
time, to the great amusement of the onlookers. 
A small crowd collected when the proud owner, 
on completion of his pet's toilette, jumped on 
its back and promenaded the streets. On finding 
it was time to return to his ship he insisted on 
the Jew boatmen taking both him and his donkey, 
when doubtless, on arriving on board, the joke 
was soon brought to an end. 

We watched with regret the departure of this 
fine squadron, which left a strong impression of the 
power of England onthepeople. Noneof the foreign 
squadrons, French, Italian, or Austrian, which now 
and again visited Salonika could in any way com- 
pare with ours, nor did they gain the esteem and 
confidence enjoyed by the British Squadron. 



I do not intend to enter into the political 
reasons that had brought and continued to bring 
squadron after squadron to Salonika. All I can 
say is that we were delighted to see them, 
especially for a prolonged stay. Their visits 
coincided with troubles in Crete, Armenia, and 
Macedonia. Those prolonged visits gave us the 
opportunity of becoming acquainted with many 
distinguished personages whose friendship and 
sympathy last to the present day. 

On one occasion when the Duke of Edinburgh 
was again at Salonika in command of the squadron 
an epidemic of smallpox was raging in the town, 
and the Duke asked me if I could recommend 
a reliable washerwoman to wash his and the 
Prince's clothes. I said my washerwoman was 
reliable, and that I would give her one of my 
visiting-cards so that when she came for the 
washing she might be recognised. I simply 
wrote " washerwoman " on one of my usual 
visiting-cards. A few days later to our great 
amusement one of the captains asked me how 
many Mrs Blunt's washerwomen there were in 
Salonika, since many cards bearing this inscrip- 
tion had been brought to the ship. It had not 
occurred to me how easily my cards could be 
stolen from the houses I visited at and be made 
use of by the washerwomen who desired work 
from the Squadron. 

Among the foreign ships that visited Salonika 
those of Austria were certainly the best, and the 
officers were gentlemen. The captain of one 
of the Austrian men-of-war was an old friend 
of ours, and when I met him one night at 


dinner I cordially shook hands and asked in 
a bantering way when the Austrian Fleet was 
coming to take possession of Salonika. He 
looked all round and then said, sotto voce, 
" Quand nous aurons I'argent voulu, Madame." 
My husband came up immediately afterwards 
and by chance asked the same question, when 
the captain, reverting to his official position, said, 
"Jamais, monsieur le Consul, jamais." 

This was at the time when Austria had begun 
to work seriously in Macedonia through the 
agency of officers disguised as engineers, pedlars, 
or sportsmen, who returned to the Austrian 
Consulate and drew maps of the places they 
had visited. I broached the subject with 
Redjeb Pasha, one of the highest and most 
honourable generals in the Turkish Army, who 
for a short time had command of the forces in 
Macedonia. His answer was, " I know better 
than anyone the work Austria is doing in the 
country with the object of taking possession of 
Salonika when a favourable opportunity occurs, 
but I am tied and helpless like the rest of my 
party under Sultan Ham id and his infamous 
regiment of spies whom we come across at 
every step." 

Redjeb Pasha built himself a kiosk (country- 
house) close to Salonika, and thoughtlessly named 
it **Yildiz," after Sultan Hamid's kiosk. He 
gave a small party and asked us and one or 
two of the other consuls. On the day following 
the party one of the spies telegraphed to Sultan 
Hamid that Redjeb Pasha had turned traitor, 
that he intended to take possession of Macedonia, 


that he was conspiring with the foreign element, 
that he already called his house the Imperial 
Palace, and so on. That same evening Redjeb 
was dismissed from his post and ordered to leave 
at once for a distant part of the Empire, where 
he was put in charge of a body of Turkish troops 
without pay and without food for himself or his 
men. He did his best for some years when the 
Young Turkish Party requested his presence at 
Constantinople. Redjeb returned, but alas ! only 
lived three days. At his funeral he received the 
honours and attentions his valour deserved, but 
which had been denied him in life. 



If I remember rightly it was close upon Christmas 
that the Mediterranean Squadron, under the 
command of Admiral Lord Walter Kerr, came 
in, much to our delight as well as to the delight 
of the people of Salonika, and especially of the 
ladies, who appeared to have lost their hearts to 
the officers during the previous visits of the 
Squadron. The weather, though cold, was bright, 
and the season promised to be a gay one, except 
perhaps to the winged species such as the ducks 
and geese, disturbed from their peaceful haunts 
by the guns of the sportsmen. The shooting was 
a great attraction to the officers, and it was no 
uncommon sight to see the sailors taking back 
to the ship a fine fat goose for a roast on festive 

We gave a ball, which everybody appeared to 
enjoy, and this was followed by an equally 
successful one given by M. Charnaud. This 
latter ball was a particularly lively party, enhanced 
by the presence of M. Charnaud's four young 
and pretty daughters, as well as by a number of 
ladies who spoke English. Free from the cares 
and responsibilities of a hostess, I danced until 



the approach of dawn when the band struck up 
" God save the Queen." Some of our gallant 
young officers, full of life and energy, insisted on 
unharnessing the horses of my carriage and 
dragging me home in triumph themselves, a most 
chivalrous attention which I had in no way 
expected, and which consequently was all the 
more appreciated, coming as it did from such 
lovable friends. 

The French Consul and Madame de Lacretelle 
gave a charming ball in the refined French style 
in honour of the British Squadron, where the 
cotillon was specially well danced, and dainty 
prizes of Parisian style were prepared and awarded 
by Madame de Lacretelle. The Consul and his 
wife were a most distinguished couple, with whom 
we joined in efforts to introduce modern ideas 
and manners into Salonika. The Jewish element 
and a few Greek families left in Salonika were 
among the first to adopt our suggestions. The 
rest of the society consisted chiefly of Levantines 
who gradually followed suit, being less under the 
control of their father confessors than were the 
ladies of Adrianople. 

Every nation was represented at Salonika by 
a Consular Agent. Some of the consuls were of 
genuine nationality, others were of local origin ; the 
whole posse of consuls Avas like a basket of fruit 
picked at random in the orchard. Some few were 
fine specimens, others mediocre or poor. One 
gentleman was the Consular representative of four 
nations, and when he received His Excellency 
the Governor on State occasions he arranged four 
sofas, one in each corner of his reception-room, 


and took His Excellency from one corner to 
another, at each of which he adopted the Consular 
cap of the particular country he represented at 
the moment, and gave His Excellency greetings 
in the appropriate language. 

The great hospitality of the officers on board 
and their effi3rts to enliven the sleepy old town 
succeeded so well, that they made that Christmas 
season one of lively gaiety. Those were happy, 
peaceful times ; but should any old naval friends 
visit Salonika at the present time of great 
upheaval, they will not find it possible to enjoy 
their favourite pastime of sport, nor will they 
meet any of the set of old residents who formerly 
welcomed them. 

By way of consolation after our friends had 
left, I decided to go and visit my brother at 
Constantinople, and my dear mother at Brussa. 
My boxes were packed, when about the eighth 
day after the Squadron had steamed away, as we 
were on the point of retiring to bed, we heard the 
fire-alarm guns. Fires were of fairly frequent 
occurrence but were always alarming, since so 
many of the houses were old, and like the 
Consulate, were built of wood. I went on to the 
terrace to see in which direction the fire was, 
and to my relief I found it had started some 
miles away from the Consulate. I attached no 
particular importance to the strong wind blowing 
at the time. When I came down from the 
terrace I found my husband ready to go out to 
the region of the fire, and in accordance with his 
usual habit he left things at home under my 
care, merely saying as he went off that I had 


better not have anything moved out of the house 
before Mr Routh, the insurance agent, had been. 
Mr Routh, an easy-going gentleman, remained 
in his house in bed till eight o'clock the following 

The fire was a terrific one and ran down the 
hillside like a burning river, devouring every 
obstacle in its way. The strong wind fanned the 
flames and carried sparks and burning embers 
right and left, so that the fire spread rapidly and 
advanced in our direction. Still no one suspected 
it would reach the Consulate, surrounded as it 
was by its large garden. No one came in to 
help or advise me. Our guards and men servants 
were absent looking after their own homes and 
families. Live embers fell on the house twice, 
but the maids and I put them out. It made me 
anxious, however, for Mr Routh had not come, 
and I did not like to begin clearing the house of 
furniture after what my husband had said. I 
felt desperately troubled as I watched the 
miserable Jewish quarter behind the Consulate 
blazing, and saw the poor people stumbling along 
with their furniture on their backs, some of which 
burst into flames as burning bits of wood, carried 
by the strong wind, fell on it, whilst others carried 
little children in their arms and encouraged their 
poor wives. Anxiety on our own account in- 
creased, when, on going on the roof to see the 
progress of the fire, I felt a hot pufF at my back 
and saw a blazing bit of wood on the staircase I 
had to go down. I tucked up my skirts and 
beat a hasty retreat, only to find my little Greek 
maid in hysterics. I shook her by the shoulders 


and ordered her to stop it, and toid her that if 
she lay where she was she would be burned with 
the house. This roused her, and her Greek 
courage and intelligence restored, she was seized 
with a good inspiration, and asked me to allow 
her to get my boxes, all ready packed for my 
visit to my brother, into the garden. She dragged 
the heavy trunks down, and in this way saved 
my laces and other precious possessions. In the 
meantime the terrible conflagration was getting 
nearer to us. On going into the garden I noticed 
to my dismay a bright flame like a huge torch 
on the roof. This must have given the alarm to 
the people round that the Consulate was on 
fire, and attracted the attention of the Turkish 
authorities, who walked into the garden in a 
body, headed by His Excellency the Governor 
and the Commander-in-chief. Turkish fashion 
they were spectators only, and all sat down and 
watched the fire spread all about the Consulate 
like lightning. The red tiles dropped down from 
the roof like tears of blood. The Turks looked 
sorry and sympathetic, and by way of comfort 
said ** Kismet," and that it was the will of Allah, 
and that it was better that the fire should attack 
property than destroy life. The only people who 
displayed any energy and activity were the young 
captain of the Turkish Stationnaire and half a 
dozen of his smart sailors, who went into the 
drawing - room and snatched away whatever 
attracted their attention, and loaded the things 
into two of the carriages, and drove them some 
way up the Kalamaria road where they left them 
unguarded. Fortunately a friend, Mr Alson, 


noticed them as he was on his way to help us, 
and had them taken into his house, and then came 
down to see to the safety of the horses. The 
poor beasts were stamping and neighing with 
terror, but refused to move till the coachman 
came and led them away. The house was now 
nearly in ruins, but the flag was still flying on 
the roof. The Governor at last made a move, 
saying it was time to leave the burning premises, 
as no more could be done. I made a stand at 
the garden gate, determined not to leave so long 
as the flag was flying, and made all the women 
servants pass out before me to see that all were 
safe. They were all empty-handed except my 
little Greek maid, who 1 noticed was tightly 
holding something in both her hands. I asked 
her what it was. 

" Madame," said she, with an air of great 
importance, "here are the keys of the house." 

Everyone laughed in spite of anxiety and 
sorrow, as we turned and gazed on the mass of 
burning embers which had been the house. The 
flag had now gone, and as I turned to come away 
my husband appeared besmeared all over with 
black, his face smutty and half of his beard 
scorched away. He had spent the whole night in 
making efforts to protect life and property and 
had accomplished much. For these services he 
received the thanks of the Sultan and the Grand 
Decoration of Liakat, which I preciously guard, 
together with other beautiful orders and decora- 
tions he received from time to time as mementos 
of his long and distinguished career. 

H.M.S. Australia came down from Athens to 


help at this time, and I need hardly say how 
considerate the officers were towards us in our 
trouble and how generous they were in helping the 
destitute and homeless people, who were chiefly 
Jews of the poorest class who were reduced to 
living under any shelter they could find. Blankets, 
clothing, food were generously distributed at once, 
and a little later charitable contributions followed 
from all directions. 

The fire was a great calamity for us as well, 
but we had to do the best we could. We regretted 
most of all that the gates of the fine old Consulate 
were for ever closed to our dear friends in the Navy, 
whom we had so loved to entertain there. 

I paid a flying visit to my brother at Con- 
stantinople and then went on to Brussa to see my 
dear mother, who was now a widow, my father 
having died but recently. I was struck afresh with 
my mother's qualities of bravery and simplicity. 
Shortly before leaving the Consulate she had been 
sitting at her window overlooking the garden one 
morning when she saw a wild-looking man, 
yatagan in hand, rush in through the gate and 
take up a position in a corner of the garden with 
his back to the wall evidently ready to defend 
himself. He was quickly followed by half a dozen 
policemen, who formed a semi-circle round him, 
unwilling to approach within striking distance of 
the yatagan which he flourished at them while he 
said, ** You know that I am Andon, the well-known 
brigand, whose yatagan never yet failed him. The 
first among you who takes a step in my direction 
may look upon himself as a dead man. Come on, 
my braves, and take your chance." My mother, 


hearing this and seeing the position of the police, 
walked down the garden and ordered the police to 
stay where they were. She then ordered Andon 
to hand his yatagan to her. Taken by surprise or 
perhaps lost in admiration of her courage he 
handed it to her, saying, ** Madame, I am ready 
to hand over my arm of defence and my life 
to you, but I would not give it to those dogs," 
indicating the policemen, "till I had despatched 
a few of them to accompany me into the next 

Having handed his yatagan to mother, he next 
held up both his hands for her to fasten the hand- 
cuffs round his wrists, when he quietly walked 
away with his guard. 

Mother was well known in the country for 
miles round for her great kindness to the people. 
My sister Matilda used to tell a good story of how 
one day mother went into the village where 
everyone knew her, and where she was in the habit 
of getting all her servants. On sighting her 
arrival some of the beggarly families collected 
round her and poured out grievous tales of their 
poverty and misery, pointing to their tattered, 
barefooted daughters to confirm their statements. 
Mother, much affected by this tableau of misery, 
got a cart and placed as many of these tatter- 
demalions in it as it would hold and took them to 
the Consulate. My sisters went to meet mother 
at the door on her return home, when to their 
surprise and dismay they saw six or seven unkempt 
girls, grinning with delight, jump down from the 
cart. My sisters wondered what had possessed 
mother to bring these girls, and in answer to their 


looks of inquiry she said, "Dears, I found these 
poor creatures looking so starved and miserable 
that I thought I would bring them home with me, 
so that they could be washed and have some 
dinner, but if you find their presence objectionable 
they can go home again in the afternoon." 

From her young days my dear mother showed 
sympathy and gave help to all the sick poor she 
came across. She lived in Therapia, and in those 
days a colony of Croatians dwelt in tents on a bit 
of bare ground at the back of the garden. A 
small gate opened on to the ground where the 
Croatians, who were hereditary gardeners and 
professional thieves when opportunity served, 
lived, and through which they entered to work in 
the garden. My mother always looked after them 
when they or their children were sick, and the 
whole colony was devoted to her, much as dogs are 
devoted to their master. One day when mother 
was walking in the garden close to the small 
gate, she saw it open mysteriously and one of the 
Croatians came in, putting the fingers of one hand 
on his lips to beg her to say nothing, and hurriedly 
placed between her hands a small but heavy bag 
and quickly went out closing the gate behind him. 
Mother took the bag into the dining-room, 
thinking it probably contained some fruit, and 
emptied the contents on to the table, when to her 
amazement a perfect stream of gems, emeralds, 
rubies, and pearls poured forth and shone with 
brilliance in the sunshine. Not knowing what to 
do with so valuable a treasure she sent for Count 
Pisani, a friend of the family, who was the Keeper 
of Archives of the Embassy, and asked his counsel. 


Together they decided it would be best to send 
the bag of jewels to the Mayor of Therapia as he 
might possibly hear of the owner who had lost so 
great a fortune. The Mayor evidently thought 
*' that possession was nine points of the law," since 
in three days' time he had secured a post as pasha, 
evidently having paid for the position with the 
treasure so confidingly given to him. 

I was struck on revisiting Brussa with the 
method of disinfection my mother always practised 
with regard to goods brought to the house. A 
trough of vinegar stood outside the entrance at the 
back door of the house, and into this everything 
that could be washed was soused before being 
brought indoors. My mother had lost her sister 
Sophia in Constantinople from plague when they 
were all girls together, and this had made a great 
impression upon her. My Aunt Sophy was a 
lovely girl, judging from a miniature of her my 
mother had, which as a child I much admired. 
She was a clever linguist and used to translate 
documents for the Embassy in the time of Lord 
Ponsonby. She was also a clever artist and 
designed and worked beautiful embroideries. One 
day when plague was rampant in Constantinople 
and when no one left the house unless it was 
imperative my aunt ran short of some silks she 
needed for her work. Seeing a pedlar pass by 
who sold skeins of silk, and deeming that it would 
be safe to buy of him she let down a string from 
her window, to which the pedlar fastened the 
skeins she chose. Drawing up the string she 
proceeded to use the silks. Shortly after this she 
was attacked by plague and died in a few days. 


having, so it was thought, received infection 
through her purchase. 

My mother and I stayed at Kucutlu, the 
village a few miles from Brussa, where there were 
the remains of some old Roman baths, and I 
thoroughly enjoyed a plunge morning and evening 
into the deep, cool waters of the huge marble 
swimming-baths. But my visit had to come to an 
end, and I returned to Salonika to start household 
anew in the charming villa of " Mon Plaisir," most 
kindly lent us by M. Charnaud, and to prepare for 
a large bazaar in aid of the poor destitute people of 

The bazaar was a great success, very largely 
owing to the generosity of Admiral Lord Walter 
Kerr and the officers of the Squadron, among 
whom were Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, Lord Charles 
Beresford, and many others who in those days 
promised great things by their intelligence and 
their energy, and in these days have accomplished 



After the burning down of the Consulate, 
Monsieur Charnaud most kindly offered us the 
loan of his house, Villa Mon Plaisir, as a tem- 
porary home. We gladly accepted this kind 
offer and found the villa a delightful, spacious, 
and well-furnished house which came as a God- 
send after the disastrous fire. 

Sultan Hamid had formed a Ministry of Public 
Works, a fraudulent body which acquired land in 
Salonika and elsewhere by the simple method of 
annexing what it required where it desired, with- 
out any reference to the wishes of the owners or 
compensation to them. In this way a fine part in 
Salonika called Boulevard Hamidia came into 
existence, which was set apart for the construction 
of fine houses suitable for consular abodes. Our 
Consulate was the first to be built and was 
promised to us by a certain date. I was fortunate 
enough to get Portocal Effendi, the Minister of 
Public Works, to allow me to make several im- 
provements in the original plans for our house. 
While we were comfortably installed at Villa 
Mon Plaisir awaiting the building of the Consulate 
I asked my two nieces, Mary and Isabelle de 


Bilinski, to come and stay with us for a few 
months. They were both sweet, pretty girls and 
I was glad to have them with me, especially when 
the Squadron under the command of Admiral Lord 
Walter Kerr came in. There were many old friends 
amongst the officers whom my husband and I were 
delighted to see, and we were specially pleased 
when we heard that there was a possibility of the 
Squadron making a prolonged stay. The possi- 
bility became a reality, the ships being anchored 
in the Bay for three months as a standing protest 
on the part of England during the abominable 
Armenian troubles. I believe, that on two or 
three occasions the Squadron stood in readiness 
to sail for Constantinople ; but even in those days 
the policy of "wait and see" was in vogue, and 
stopped this most powerful and advantageous step 
from being taken. The brilliant opportunity was 
lost which would have resulted in incalculable 
advantages to Turkey as well as to England, by 
giving an entirely different turn to the train of 
events that ensued. The oriental character with 
its fatalistic belief in " kismet " is not easily moved 
to action or mere menace or distant danger, whilst 
it soon yields to determined action whether it likes 
it or not. In connection with this it is regrettable 
to have to state that the Germans by their count- 
less ways and devices, from treacherous actions to 
brutal force, which none of the sounder Ministers 
of the Turkish Empire were capable of opposing or 
resisting, gave rise to the powerful influence they 
acquired over the treacherous Young Turkey Party, 
and made this party do the ignoble work which lay 
beyond their reach, and which has largely con- 


duced to bring about the present situation. God 
alone knows how it will end for Turkey and her 

Exceptions of course exist among the Turks, 
but it is generally recognised that the love of 
honours, decorations, and money earned with the 
least possible trouble will get the better of the 
patriotism of the majority. 

Some five years ago I had an interesting con- 
versation on the organisation and future prospects 
of their constitution with a staunch member of the 
Y^oung Turkey Party who was passing through 
Malta. The first thing that struck me in the forma- 
tion of this proposed constitution was, that no 
mention whatever was made of any reforms, con- 
ventions, or arrangements in favour of the vast 
Christian element within the borders of the 
Turkish Empire. Passing over several minor 
details the next point which specially struck me 
was the hungry avidity with which he broached 
the financial question. " Money, money, Hanoum, 
is all we require, and we are trying to get it on a 
large scale." 

On my questioning him where and how they 
could get it, he said, " Why, from Germany, 
England, France, and Italy." 

" But surely," I said, " these Powers are not 
desirous of parting with their money for nothing." 

" No, Hanoum, we know that ; we have already 
arranged to give the Powers concessions for rail- 
ways and other works in close proximity to each 
other, relying on the objections and disputes that 
will arise between them ; and if they come to blows 
we shall get the native workmen to strike or to 


set the works on fire. You are aware, Hanoum, 
how clever we Turks have always been in getting 
out of difficulties with European Powers." 

" And what about Germany," said I. 

"No fear on that side, Germany is now our 
best friend, ready to help us in every way." 

Poor, deluded people, they little knew how soon 
that Power would become their master and hasten 
on the ruin of their country. 

I do not wish to include the uneducated people 
in this description of the aims of the Young Turkey 
Party. The country people are still in profound 
ignorance. They are an Allah -fearing people, and 
have remained content earning their daily bread 
by the sweat of their brow. Their wages allow 
them to have about two pence a day pocket-money, 
and in the evening after drinking a cup of coffee, 
eating a small quantity of their favourite yaghourt 
(soured milk), and smoking a few cigarettes, these 
hard-working toilers are ready to turn in and sleep 
peacefully till dawn without troubling their heads 
about politics or parties. Such at least were the 
Turks of my time. 

I have no pretension to a spirit of prophecy, but 
when looking recently over a few notes I made in 
1875, I came across this prediction. "Turkish 
affairs will never settle down until America comes 
forward." The brave American missionaries have 
done wonders for the Christian population in Turkey. 
The work has been able and tactful, and though 
opposed to the religious interests of the Turks, yet 
the Turks nevertheless highly respected these 
devoted servants of humanity, and often followed 
the advice they gave. 


But to return to Salonika ; a Squadron, under 
the command of Admiral Sir Michael Culme 
Seymour was eagerly welcomed by all classes, 
since its presence in the Bay of Salonika inspired 
a sense of great confidence and security. Outside 
this sense of security was a genuine feeling of 
admiration for the sea-power of England, and great 
regard and esteem not only for the gallant admiral, 
officers, and middies but also for the crews ; and the 
Turks were pleased to be under the shelter of this 
great fleet, which compared so favourably with the 
fleets from other nations, and attracted the attention 
even of the ignorant at a time when the Turks 
were wont to say of their own ships, "Bizim 
ghemiler bir para etmezler" (Our ships are not 
worth a penny). 

One late afternoon about this time I was 
going to the stable to give a bit of sugar to my 
favourite horse, when I was startled in the semi- 
darkness by a gigantic, dishevelled individual with 
a besmeared blackened face springing out of the 
coal-house which adjoined the stable. This man 
fell at my feet and implored me to save his life. 
Drawing him into the stable out of sight, I asked 
him who he was, and what the danger was that 
was menacing his life. 

"I am the Hedjabachi (headman) of Cassandra," 
said he, "pursued by these dogs (meaning the 
Turks) for hiding arms on my estate, which I 
only have there in order to protect my family 
and my farm in case of necessity." Learning 
from him that this was the extent of his crime, 
and though feeling that the case was a delicate 
one, I sent him back to the coal-house to remain 


there till I could find out if his story was based 
on fact. If it were I knew he was in danger of 
losing his life or of imprisonment, which was 
nearly as bad. 

Fortunately there was a ball that evening, 
where I knew I should meet a great friend of 
ours, Redjeb Pasha, the Commander-in-chief of 
the Forces in Macedonia. 

I decided not to say a word to my husband, 
but to make a direct appeal to the Commander-in- 
chief in favour of my friend in the coal-house. 

I broached the subject with all the diplomacy 
in my power, and while watching his face I 
noticed on it looks of annoyance at being asked 
a favour beyond his official capacity to grant. 
This decided me to go straight to the point and 
ask him for the release of the man, and his help 
to get him out of the country. He stared at me, 
saying, "Great is the gravity of your request 
to me as Commander-in-chief of our Forces in 
charge of the protection of the country." 

I answered smilingly that I knew that to be 
so, and that that was the very reason I made 
this request only to the kindness of his heart. 

*' Has Mr Blunt knowledge of this incident ? " 

" Certainly not," said I, " he would have been 
the first to place the man in your official hands, 
whilst I ignore your official position and prefer 
to appeal to the kindness of your generous heart." 

" Be it so," answered my gallant friend, '' I 
cannot refuse your appeal. Tell your protege to 
be at your garden door about three o'clock in the 
morning, and when he hears three gentle taps to 
open it and go out, and follow a man who will 


put him on board a Greek boat which will take 
him out of the country." 

My husband was furious when I told him the 
story some weeks later, but I rejoiced to think 
that I had been able to save the life of an 
oppressed man who had only made reasonable 
preparations in case of an attack on himself and 
his property. 

After the Squadron left my husband and I 
went to England on six months' leave. This was 
my husband's first visit to England since he had 
left it on the completion of his education thirty- 
five years previously, and he was like a schoolboy 
let loose in his happiness in returning to the 
dear land of his birth and boyhood. His first 
visit in London was to his club, the Athenaeum, 
of which he had been a member for years, but 
had never previously had the chance to enter. 
I was favoured by fortune, for I had the privilege 
on the Kaiser's visit to the city of London of 
going to the club, too, and having a place on the 
balcony from which to view the procession. 
There were many celebrities at the luncheon 
which followed, and it rejoiced my heart to see 
that my husband, in spite of his long sojourn and 
anxious work in the Near East, looked the 
youngest of them all. 



Happy as we had been at Villa Mon Plaisir, yet 
I was very glad on our return from England to 
move into the new Consulate, a spacious modern 
building on the Boulevard Hamidia. The 
picturesque Mount Hortiach which we saw from 
our windows often presented one of the finest 
atmospheric effects I have ever witnessed. The 
rays of the setting sun blended in some curious 
way with the soft dews rising from the mountain, 
and appeared to form an azure curtain floating 
in space. 

Owing to the fact that we had insured our 
furniture in the old Consulate, we had money 
to invest in furniture from England and oriental 
stufl*s from the Stamboul bazaar. This time, 
thanks to the aid of Jeanne's nimble fingers, I set 
up house more easily and quickly than I had ever 
done before. We had nearly finished arranging 
the dining- and living-rooms, leaving the ballroom 
to the last, when my husband received news of the 
early arrival of the Squadron ; good news which 
rejoiced everybody in Salonika. 

It was, I think, during the Cretan troubles 
that the British Squadron paid frequent visits to 



Salonika under different commanders-in-chief, 
among whom were Admiral Sir George Tryon, 
Admiral Markham, and Prince Louis of Batten- 
berg in H.M.S. Cambrian, I well remember the 
old friends who came back on this occasion, as we 
gave a house-warming dinner followed by a ball, 
when the ballroom, not yet complete, was tem- 
porarily decorated most prettily by some of our 
bluejackets. Poor Admiral Sir George Tryon 
attracted much attention by his personality and 
good looks as he stood by me watching the dancers. 
The Italian Consul came up and paid him so many 
compliments on his appearance as an admiral that 
as he left us Sir George turned round to me and 
said laughingly, " Pears' soap, Pears' soap." 

A regatta took place before Admiral Tryon 
left, and I noticed with keen interest what a great 
event a regatta is both for the officers and the men. 
Sir George asked a large party from the shore, in- 
cluding His Excellency the Governor of Salonika, 
who was so pleased at the attention that he presented 
as a special prize a handsome set of gold and silver 
coffee cups. The prize was won by one of the 
Admiral's favourite middies, a most charming and 
promising young officer, and the Admiral asked me 
to thank the Governor for having given so valuable 
a prize, and to add that he was so pleased that one 
of his youngest officers had gained it as he would be 
likely to Hve long, and to bear in mind all his life His 
Excellency's kind gift. Uhomme propose mais Dieu 
dispose. A fortnight later both the Admiral and 
his favourite young officer passed out of this finite 
world in consequence of the well-remembered sink- 
ing of the Admiral's ship, H.M.S. Victoria (1893), 


during naval manoeuvres. The brave young boy 
preferred to remain on the sinking ship to the very 
end by the side of his beloved chief, in spite of his 
chief's repeated permission to save himself. This 
calamitous loss of a number of brave officers and 
men was specially grievous to us since their recent 
visit was so fresh in our minds. A cloud of sorrow 
hung over Salonika for a time, and the deepest 
sympathy was felt for Lady Tryon. Much 
sympathy too was felt for our dear kind friend, 
Admiral Markham, who was well known as a 
very capable, brave, and distinguished officer. 

Many men-of-war remained in the Bay of 
Salonika over a long period as a demonstration 
during the Armenian and Cretan troubles. Both 
these troubles were serious enough, God knows, 
but it has always been the Armenians who paid 
dearly. The custom of re-commissioning men-of- 
war every two years brought back to Salonika 
from time to time old friends and introduced new 
friends who, in due course, rose through the ranks 
of officers, from midshipmen to that of commander- 
in-chief, each standing on his own merits and 
steadily going up the rungs of the ladder of pro- 
motion. Jeanne asked one of the youngest of her 
friends what his feelings were whilst in charge of 
a boat full of bluejackets. "My feelings," said 
the bright little fellow, /'are akin to those of an 
admiral fulfilling his duties, and," added he plead- 
ingly, " please say something nice about me to my 
captain as I love him very much and I should like 
him to care for me." I thought this little speech 
a striking illustration of the harmony, respect, and 
good feeling that reigns on board these fine well- 


disciplined ships down to the bluejackets who are, 
as a rule, proud of and devoted to their superior 
officers. Even the Turks, so differently brought 
up, were struck by the general good behaviour of 
our sailors. In the few instances when a complaint 
was brought to my husband of some foolish conduct 
on the part of a sailor, and his assurance that the 
case would be brought to the notice of the captain, 
he was thanked and was asked that the case might 
go no further on the plea that childish pranks in 
brave young men, though tiresome and reported 
to the Consul-General, did not deserve punishment. 
Some of the jokes played by a few mischief-loving 
sailors were most absurd. Again, it was a donkey 
that was made to play the chief role. A regie 
gardien (civil guard) was fast asleep whilst in his 
sentry-box. The sailor, seeing this, brought his 
donkey and gently put its head through the narrow 
window at the side of the sentry-box, so that it was 
more or less on a level with the face of the peaceful 
sleeper. The donkey, disapproving of its head in 
this position, gave utterance to a bray of distress. 
The guard, half asleep, became conscious of the 
donkey's head close to his own, thought it was 
some strange beast come to devour him and 
screamed for help at the top of his voice. The 
sailor, after enjoying his practical joke, came to 
the rescue, and after a good deal of trouble got 
the donkey's head out of its tight prison, and at 
the same time mollified his victim by placing a 
few shillings in his hand. 

Another practical joke brought to my husband's 
notice was serio-comic. The victim was a devout 
Turk who had spread his handkerchief of prayer 


facing Mecca, and with his face on his knees he 
bent on the ground and made his Namaz. Thus 
absorbed he attracted the attention of a bluejacket 
who approached from behind, seized the Turk by 
the legs, and made him turn three somersaults in 
succession, in spite of the Turk's protest at being 
disturbed in his devotions. The Turk's turban fell 
off, and his tormentor placed it on his own head 
and put his cap in exchange on the Turk. The 
poor Turk tried to persuade the sailor to give him 
back his turban as he abhorred looking like a 
ghiaour (infidel). After contemplating his handi- 
work the sailor put his hand in his pocket, took 
out a shilling and handed it to his victim with the 
turban, said, '' Namaz great bosh. English shilling 
bono-bono. Good-bye." 

"Allah, Allah soupan Allah" (God is great), 
said the Turk, but consoled by the look of the 
shilling he also agreed that it was bono-bono. 

Entertainments of one kind and another 
continued to be given during the stay of the 
Squadron. M. Charnaud and Mr Allatini, the 
latter a well-known wealthy Jew, were both 
very hospitable people, and so were one or two 
of the foreign consuls. I must not forget to 

note down the hospitality of M. L , a 

nouveau riche, a most avaricious Jew who, on 
hearing that Captain Lord Charles Beresford 
was reputed to be much the wealthiest of the 
officers, said, "Je dois prendre note de cela." 

M. L gave a dinner, when great confusion 

ensued over the seating of the guests. The 
Commander-in-chief was passed over by the host 
in favour of Lord Charles, who was placed next 


to Madame L •, a pretty young woman of 

European extraction. The two officers looked 
at each other. The younger in his delightful 
outspoken way said, "1 beg your pardon, sir, 
but I had to sit where I was pressed down 
unceremoniously by the waiter." 

We always had a little coterie of officers with 
us whenever a squadron was in the Bay, which 
gave us much pleasure and was one of the delights 
of the happy days in Salonika. Wit, youth, and 
gaiety, as well as the stately charm of the senior 
British naval officers often produced the effect 
of a Parisian Salon de Conversation, Every 
imaginable subject was discussed at one time 
or another, the older members looking all the 
younger, and the younger older and wiser when 
talking over some of the ways of life on land 
and sea. It was during one of these pleasant 
gatherings that a young officer in imitation of 
my nieces called me "Aunt Fanny." The 
happy inspiration was enthusiastically approved, 
and from that moment I was formally adopted 
as "Aunt Fanny" to the Navy. These dear 
"Extraordinary Nephews," as they called them- 
selves, formed a small committee and only 
admitted to this relationship such further officers 
as they approved of, and this was kept up to 
very recent times. Among this first set of 
nephews were Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, 
and many others who have carved great careers 
for themselves, but who in those days were happy, 
light-hearted, yet earnest young officers. One 
generation of Extraordinary Nephews has followed 
the other, and all, according to their age, are 


occupying positions of great importance. I am 
now at the fourth generation, and many of the 
youngest set have already distinguished them- 
selves, and show me that they are following in 
the footsteps of their predecessors. On a 
cigarette box that some of the members of the 
first generation gave me are the names amongst 
many others of Allan F. Everett, Maurice Wooll- 
combe, Mark Kerr, all now distinguished Admirals 
of the Fleet. 

What makes me so proud and happy in the 
enjoyment of this great group of Extraordinary 
Nephews is the wealth of friendship and affection 
they so generously bestow upon me, and which 
I retain to the present day. Few, indeed, are 
those of my Extraordinary Nephews in the 
Mediterranean Navy who, passing through Malta, 
fail to come and see me, now pretty well known 
as " Aunt Fanny of the British Fleet" 

Honi soit qui mal y pense. 



None of the countries I have visited can compare 
with Egypt in stimulating the desire to see and 
to know more of it. What can be more impressive 
than the Pyramids built of huge blocks of stone 
bearing the marks of bygone centuries ? The 
wonderful Catacombs, the resting cities of the 
Pharaohs whose spirits are thought to hover 
in these their mysterious domains. The Colossal 
Sphinx presiding above, its wonderful eyes now 
no longer thought to have power to harm the 
dead or the living. The wide desert, that land 
of silvery sand and sunshine dotted here and 
there by the comforting presence of an oasis, 
and the possibility of at times contemplating 
across it the mysterious fleeting mirage. The 
expeditions on the blue waters of the Nile or 
to the ruins of some ancient temple. Egypt is 
rich in interests diverse enough to gratify every 
taste among the crowds that used yearly to resort 
there from all parts of the world, and is a country 
where old and modern civilisations often blend 
incongruously, such as the ancient custom of a 
donkey ride combined with the irresistible fun 

CAIRO 223 

of the cosmopolitan chatter of the fellahiu who 
takes charge of both the beast and its burden. 

My interest in the land of the Pharaohs was 
greatly stimulated by the kind hospitality of my 
cousin, Sir Edward Zohrab, who had been a 
General in the Egyptian Army, and was at the 
time of my visit Under-Secretary of War. I 
was greatly attached to my cousin, whose fine 
qualities attracted me much, and I was much 
gratified to find that Lord Wolseley, whom 
I met in Malta some years back, shared my 
feehngs. In talking of the Soudan campaign 
when he had seen much of my cousin. Lord 
Wolseley said, "In all my long experience of 
life I never came across any person I loved and 
admired as much as I did that dear good cousin 
of yours." 

The season I spent at Cairo was a very lively 
one, and was made especially delightful for me 
as my dear son was quartered there with his 
regiment, the Connaught Rangers. It was at 
this time that I first met H.R.H. the Duke of 
Cambridge, Lord Wolseley, General Kitchener, 
Slatin Pasha, and many other distinguished men. 
Balls and parties of every description were given ; 
the two that have remained engraved on the 
tablets of my memory were the ball at the 
Ghezireh Palace given by the cavalry regiment 
stationed in Cairo, in honour of the Duke of 
Cambridge, and the dinner given by the 
Connaught Rangers. The ball was like a peep 
into fairyland. The vast terrace of the palace 
was hung with brilliant oriental draperies, their 
bright colours held here and there by gold and 


silver roses that caught the reflection of thousands 
of lights. The garden, decorated in a similar way, 
its alleys perfumed by the rich scent of countless 
flowers, proved a serious rival to the attractions 
of the ballroom. 

The Duke of Cambridge appeared to be deeply 
impressed by the lovely sight, and after looking 
all round asked me who had designed so beautiful 
a palace. 

" I believe," said I, " that it was the creation 
of the Khedive Ismail in which to house his 
countless houris." 

"It is a pity," said the Duke, *'that there 
are none of them here to complete the tableau." 

I demurred, and cast a look of admiration at 
the groups of lovely girls flitting in and out 
among the bushes. The old courtier guessed 
my thoughts, and, with a twinkle in his eye, said, 
"They are well represented but they lack the 
interest of novelty." 

" An interest," added I, " which their rivals 
must certainly have introduced into the Moham- 
medan paradise." 

The distinguished company, the brilliant 
uniforms, the excellent supper in these beautiful 
surroundings made a delightful luxurious enter- 
tainment which was said to have cost about 
£2000. The habit of extravagant waste of money 
introduced and practised by the Khedival family 
was easily caught by other than those of the 
Khedival household. 

The grand dinner and ball of the Connaught 
Rangers was an annual affair given to celebrate 
some regimental victory. I was much interested 


in the fine display of silver, the accumulated 
treasures of many years, on the dining- table. 
Colonel Brook commanded the regiment at that 
time. I was seated next to General Kitchener, 
who was much interested in the decoration I wore, 
which had been given me by Sultan Abdul Hamid 
for my work amongst Turkish women. The 
decoration is very beautiful and consists of a five- 
pointed star of red enamel on gold. The spaces 
between the points of the star are filled with gold 
crowns encrusted with diamonds and green enamel. 
The centre shows the Toughra or signature of the 
Sultan, surrounded by a green enamel band, on 
which are three words in Turkish characters in 
fine letters of gold, ie,. Fidelity, Friendship, 

Kitchener was at that time just beginning to 
be a rising star over which slight clouds occasion- 
ally passed, owing to some difference of opinion 
between him and his Commander-in-chief, which 
induced the future hero of England to go on a 
visit to Cyprus. Kitchener's return coincided 
with difficulties the French were making in the 
Soudan, causing annoyance to Lord Wolseley in 
consequence of certain vexatious criticisms cast on 
the English, which necessitated sending some able 
person to examine into and to report on them. 
The Commander-in-chief applied to my cousin to 
find the right person for the mission. 

" I have him ready for your service, sir," said 

" Who is it ? " asked Lord Wolseley. 

" Kitchener," was the reply. 

** Look for some one else," said Lord Wolseley. 



Next evening the same inquiry received the 
same reply, and it was only on the third day that 
my cousin's persistent recommendation of Kitchener 
appealed to Lord Wolseley, who, after taking a 
turn or two up and down the room, said curtly, 
" Tell him to come and dine with me to-night." 

Edward told me this story and added, "As 
soon as I got the order I went off like a shot and 
spent seven hours on horseback trying to find 
Kitchener. At last I came across him and told 
him to hold himself in readiness to start next 
morning on a mission to the Soudan." 

** To-morrow morning, by whose orders ? " said 
Kitchener, with a pleased surprise. 

" By order of the Commander-in-chief." 

" Never, the man hates me like poison, and is 
not likely to wish to make use of my services." 

" Never mind what you think, you are to come 
and dine this evening and receive your instructions 
for to-morrow." 

It did not take Kitchener long to get to the 
bottom of this affair and to give an able and 
satisfactory report. 

I believe it was Kitchener's successful conduct 
of this mission which cleared his sky from the 
cloud which had temporarily veiled it. 

In spite of the fact that the case had been well 
sifted and reported on, yet the French press 
continued to cast unpleasant reflections on our 
policy in the Soudan. Again chance decided in 
Kitchener's favour. It happened that my cousin 
and the Editor of the Times were in Paris 
together, when the latter, anxious to get correct 
information on the subject to enable him to put a 


stop to the outcry of the French papers, appHed to 
Edward and learnt what he wanted from him. 
Kitchener on meeting Edward a little later spoke 
to him of the great change in the tone of the 
French press, and wondered who could have 
supplied such sound information to the Times, 

" One of your friends, 1 expect," said Edward. 

It apparently did not occur to Kitchener that 
it was Edward who had helped to confirm the 
soundness of his report, and thus further to 
establish the position he had won for himself. 

Slatin Pasha, an officer in the Egyptian Army, 
was another of the interesting personages I met in 
Cairo. Slatin Pasha often came to my cousin's 
house, and his personality and conversation deeply 
interested me. He was an Austrian by birth, 
young, good-looking, and delicate in appearance. 
He had been Governor of the Province of Darfur 
when the Mahdist rebellion broke out, and was 
made prisoner and spent seven terrible years at 
Omdurman. It was a miracle how he managed to 
survive those long years of captivity. At one 
time he would be put in chains and nearly starved, 
and at another his position would be all that he 
could desire, good food, kind attention, and 
everything he needed when, without rhyme or 
reason, so far as he knew, he would again be put in 
chains and starved. After his escape in 1895 he 
told me that on his return to Austria he was 
amazed to find that he was the sole survivor of a 
small circle of friends he had left in good health, 
and whose lives had been lived, unlike his own, in 
uneventful, comfortable circumstances. 

During my stay in Cairo I enjoyed the 


privilege of meeting several distinguished members 
of the Khedival family, the descendants of 
Mehemet Ah, the first Khedive of Egypt. 

Mehemet Ali was an Albanian born at Cavalla, 
where his father, a much respected citizen, had 
settled down, living quietly on his modest earnings^ 
Mehemet Ali, a bright, handsome boy, was 
employed by Mr Chassaud, a British subject, a 
grain merchant, as kavass or guard. It was Mr 
Chassaud's son who told me the interesting details 
of the beginning of Mehemet Ali's wonderful 
career. It seems that the boy, full of life and 
energy, though illiterate and devoid of any means 
beyond his trifling salary, began to pine for some 
change to better his position, when fortunately he 
came across some Albanian adventurers on their 
way to visit their native land, who told him about 
the great country of Egypt they had just left, and 
of the frequent unexpected openings to make a 
fortune that occurred there, owing to the diffi- 
culties the Turks found in maintaining their 
control over the country. Mehemet Ali thought 
this over carefully, and made up his mind to get 
to Egypt by hook or by crook. Troubled by the 
want of means for his journey he appealed to his 
mother, who discouraged him as far as she could 
from undertaking so venturesome an enterprise, 
but seeing his fixed determination she at last took 
an old stocking from the bottom of her trunk and 
poured out her small savings into Mehemet Ali's 
hands. The amount was barely sufficient to pay 
for the journey to the great city of Stamboul, 
about which he had heard so much since childhood. 
Mehemet's father could not help him with money. 


but gave him a suit of fine Albanian clothes and a 
set of arms worked in silver. These treasures 
were Mehemet's stock-in-trade when he set sail 
for Stamboul. 

The adventurous boy was very hungry when 
he reached his journey's end, as he had spent his 
last piastre on food the previous night. On 
landing at the old bridge of Stamboul, he neglected 
his pangs of hunger by an effort of will, cast a 
gratified look on the fine figure he cut in his rich 
Albanian clothes, inquired his way to the great 
bazaar of Stamboul, and swaggered along the 
narrow streets, his hand on his yatagan. The 
presence of an armed Albanian, a stranger, striding 
along the bazaar looking into every sarafF's 
(money-lender's) box, alarmed the timid Armenian 
occupants, most of whom he passed with a look of 
disdain. At last at the top of a small incline he 
came to a solitary sarafF sitting behind his portable 
bank. Mehemet Ali stood in front of this sarafF, 
looked him up and down, and then said, '* SarafF 
EfFendimis, I want you to lend me £50." 

" Bash-ustune " (On my head your orders), 
answered the money-lender, outwardly polite, but 
inwardly quaking with fear, *'the amount is at 
your service if you can leave a deposit." 

" I have none to leave," said Mehemet, his 
hand on his yatagan. The Armenian cast an 
anxious look on the stalwart youth and made a 
timid proposal that an I.O.U would be necessary. 
Mehemet AH, with a bitter smile, said, " I can 
neither read nor write, you must therefore give 
me the £50, and trust to my word of honour that 
some day I will repay you." 


The sarafF pulled out his drawer and counted 
out £50 to the stranger whose name even he did 
not know. Mehemet Ali with this sum in his 
pocket started on the remarkable career which 
enabled him finally to occupy the proud position 
of first Khedive of Egypt. He never forgot the 
sarafF to whom he owed his start in life, and in 
due course sent three of his officers to Stamboul 
to search him out and bring him to Cairo. The 
sarafF, who was in reality a wealthy banker, had 
forgotten the incident till recalled to his memory 
by Mehemet Ali who said, " I wish to reward 
you, and appoint you, Boghos, the head of 
the Financial Department in Egypt, and I 
feel confident it will prosper under your care." 
Boghos Bey was overpowered by this unlooked- 
for good fortune, but rose to the occasion and 
filled well the important position given to him, 
and enjoyed to the last his master's confidence. 
Mehemet Ali, though illiterate, had a good head 
on his shoulders and sound foresight. He liked 
the English and the French, and encouraged them 
in the capital of his creation, and was glad when 
it was suggested that an hotel (afterwards 
Shepheard's) should be built. But when it was 
desired to buy the land on which the hotel was 
to be built he felt some anxiety, and talked the 
matter over with his friend Canelli, and said, 
"You see, Canelli, I like the English and am 
glad to attract them into the country, but 1 
dislike the idea of giving them the right to 
purchase land, being well aware of the English 
method of sending first missionaries, then traders, 
and then the army and navy to take possession 


of the country. This is sure to happen sooner 
or later when Turkey goes to pieces, as she surely 
will." None of Mehemet Ali's successors was 
his equal in mind, power, or organisation. Each 
in his way had certain qualifications of bravery 
combined with marked defects, such as caprice, 
favouritism, and reckless generosity, with an 
excess of cruelty and oriental despotism. 

The Khedive Ismail, the founder of Ismailia, 
during whose reign the Suez Canal was made by 
the engineering genius of M. le Baron de Lesseps, 
built the three fine bridges between Cairo and 
the island of Gezireh, as well as the museum. 
He laid out the beautiful garden of Ezebekieh 
and the zoological gardens, but came to grief, 
chiefly owing to his extravagance and ignorance 
of financial matters. Like most Orientals, Ismail 
loved gold, but did not attach much importance 
to paper money, of which, however, he issued a 
good deal, and used often to give away recklessly. 
One day he desired to give a large sum to a 
favourite, and ordered his treasurer to have ready 
£10,000 on the following day. The treasurer, 
well knowing the poverty of the Khedival purse 
and the Khedive's love of gold, arranged ten 
thousand bright Egyptian pounds on Ismail's 
table. The Khedive, startled by the sight of so 
fine a display of gold, asked what so large a sum 
was doing there. 

"EfFendimis, it is the £10,000 my lord ordered 
me to put at his disposal." 

" By Allah," answered Ismail, " put it away, 
put it away," and casting a glance of gratification 
at the shining pieces he passed on quite forgetting, 


as his wily treasurer intended he should, to give 
any orders concerning the gift he had promised. 

Under the Turkish protectorate Egypt was 
going to rack and ruin, when Mehemet Ali came 
to the front and saved it from that curse which 
was fast draining the country of all its resources 
and carrying them off to Constantinople. But it 
was "out of the frying pan into the fire" under 
the Khedival rule. The oriental Grand Seigneur, 
unless he be a miser, is absolutely reckless in 
financial matters. He will squander all his ready 
cash and mortgage his property to usurers (Jews), 
who are careful not to press for payment of the 
interest until it reaches an amount beyond the 
power of the borrower to pay, when the property 
changes hands greatly to the disadvantage of the 

My visit to Cairo came to an end with the 
outbreak of the war in the Soudan, when my 
son was sent up country in charge of a Maxim 
gun, a gun that had then only recently been 
introduced into warfare. 

I took passage on a Khedival steamboat 
bound for Constantinople, and had for fellow 
passengers a group of pretty, bright princesses 
leaving Egypt on the plea that plague had broken 
out. These girls were under the care of a 
Khedival lady, and were intensely bored by the 
want of society on the boat. I found them pretty, 
talkative, and elegant. They spoke French and 
English fluently, as they had been brought up 
by European governesses. They hated their 
forced seclusion, and longed for the liberty and 
freedom that were denied them. It made my 


heart bleed to see intelligent young women cut 
off from the pleasures and duties of life. I met 
some of these princesses a few months later at 
Constantinople, where they occupied a lovely 
palace overlooking the Bosphorus, and found 
them rather happier, as they were allowed a little 
more liberty to go about than had been permitted 
in Egypt. Some of them went to Europe soon 
after, and the first thing they did was to cast 
aside their veils and wear hats ! 

I remember during the eighties that a 
charming woman with a romantic history had 
come to spend some months at Salonika, where 
I became acquainted with her. She was a 
Circassian girl who had been sold when a mere 
child in the slave market at Constantinople, and 
had been bought by a sister of Mehemet Ali, a 
princess of the Khedival House who had married, 
but was childless. The little Circassian, Besim^ 
by name, was dressed as a boy by her adopted 
mother and carefully educated. The child grew 
up to be a beautiful girl, and when some fifteen 
or sixteen years of age was present at one of the 
annual gatherings of Turkish ladies, given by the 
Sultan as father of the Empire, when all the 
ladies are unveiled. Little Besime attracted the 
Sultan's attention and he desired her for his 
seragUo. The princess objected, but after endless 
talk and arrangements Mehemet Ali decided that 
the Sultan might have her if the ceremony of 
nikiha or marriage was performed. This is a 
very rare ceremony, and I believe the case of 
Besim^ was only the second that had occurred 
in the history of the Turkish Empire. After 


occupying an important role as sultana for some 
years, she became impatient of the impediment to 
her free development, and tired of the jealousies 
and intrigues of a household of seven hundred 
women who had nothing to do but gossip, broke 
away from the Court. The Sultan provided her 
with a large fortune, but this she soon squandered 
away, oriental fashion. Besime was still young 
and beautiful when I knew her, and she often 
came and lunched with us unveiled, when my 
husband and I enjoyed her interesting conversa- 
tion. After lunch she would come into my 
boudoir and tell me of all the sorrows of her 
adventurous life. I wrote down a good deal of 
what she told me of the life and surroundings of 
an oriental Sultan. The seraglio was practically 
a little town with everyone in it devoted to the 
interests of one man, the Sultan ; but unfortunately 
all my notes were destroyed by the great fire 
which burnt down the Consulate. 

This story of Besim^ is in marked contrast to 
that of Zulfica, a real blossom of the desert who 
came down to the banks of the Nile with her 
water-pot on her head, her slim figure upright, 
and her baby clasped in her arms. After filling 
her water-pot and placing it in the shade of a 
palm tree she entered the river and dipped 
herself and her baby in the blue waters, then stood 
for a few moments on the bank smothering the 
child with her kisses. All this time she was 
noticed by an unseen watcher, who followed her 
home and made inquiries in her village as to who 
she was. Finding she lived with her father, and 
that she had but recently lost her husband in the 


war, the unseen watcher, a prince of the Royal 
House, begged her in marriage and took her 
home, where she became the chief wife of a 
truly devoted husband. Egypt and Turkey are 
full of romantic stories, but the greater number 
of them develop into sadness or tragedy as the 
years roll on. 



I HAD an uneventful journey to Salonika, and 
arrived in good time to help my husband 
organise some fetes in honour of Queen Victoria's 
jubilee (1897). The Italian Fleet was in the 
Bay at that time, which gave additional animation 
to our festivities. We had an At Home for all 
the children, who were delighted by the novelty 
of the entertainment, and were further gratified 
by carrying home mementos of the great Queen 
of England. In the evening we had a large 
garden party in the public gardens which went 
off well, in spite of the difficulty of illuminations 
owing to the scanty allowance of £10 accorded 
by the Foreign Office for this purpose. My 
husband considerably supplemented this sum 
from his own pocket and did not, as did another 
consul, put the Foreign Office to the expense 
of spending £100 in telegrams in discussing with 
it his inability to do justice to his Queen and 
country by a meagre dole of £10 for illuminations. 
It is nineteen years since I left Salonika, and 
I often wonder how much has been left of the 
old town and its well-to-do inhabitants. I hope 
it will remain as it now stands by its birthright, 



part of the renewed, purified, and consolidated 
Greece under the firm, honest control of M. 
Venizelos, that patriotic genius whose short 
tenure of office as Prime Minister gave such 
solid proofs of his great capacity for organisation 
and reforms. The speedy manner in which he 
purged the whole country from the curse of 
brigandage, using moral pressure far more than 
-the severe hand of the law, was a proof of his 
knowledge of how to handle men and matters. 
The success of M. Venizelos in this as in several 
other reforms is little known outside Greece, but 
so greatly increased his popularity there that had 
circumstances been more favourable to his noble 
task he would have saved his country from the 
trouble she has had through the treachery of 
an alien king, and of a few thousands of unpatriotic 
Greeks who, brought up on German intrigues 
and fed by German money, were led to become 
the partisans of Germany. These Greeks pressed 
the nation by every means in their power to 
follow the evil example which has led Greece 
to ruin, and has given her a bad reputation 
amongst her oldest and best friends, France and 
England. However doubtful and unpropitious 
the relations of Greece may still appear to be, 
there is every hope in the formation of a new 
Greece reformed and ready to expiate her past 
errors under the guidance of M. Venizelos, should 
his life be spared to accomplish the task he has 
taken upon himself. The thousands of Greeks, 
too, who languish under the despicable Turkish 
rule must, ere long, wake up to the necessity of 
union with the mother country. Whatever the 


defects of the Greeks may be they have been 
acquired by the force of circumstances only, 
whilst the virtues of a nation, like those of 
individuals, are inherited gifts which are passed 
on from one generation to another. The Greek 
nation has preserved a number of virtues, little 
known outside their own people, which are held 
sacred to the present day in spite of the hardships 
that some of them impose on individuals. Few 
persons have had the opportunity of seeing and 
studying the soundness and patriotism of the 
Greek home life. The father, respected and 
venerated, as a rule exercises full power over the 
whole family, and does his best for the education 
and prosperity of his children who are generally 
clever and enterprising. When the father 
retires from his business his sons take on their 
shoulders the sacred duty of working on behalf 
of dowerless sisters, and do not themselves marry 
until a dower has been provided and a husband 
and home secured for their sisters. I have known 
of Greeks even in good but not lucrative positions 
who have abandoned everything they possessed 
in favour of their sisters, and have gone abroad 
to earn a livelihood. No sons, on the death 
of their father, touch the property should any 
be left ; it goes to the mother and her daughters. 
In times of trouble Greeks are helpful to one 
another ; there is a great deal of kindness and 
generosity in their nature mixed up with a great 
amount of pride and conceit. The Greeks under 
the Turks, by force of circumstances, are not 
always as honest with strangers as they might 
be ; but in spite of defects of this kind the Greeks 

ATHENS IN 1888 239 

are by far the most advanced and clever of all 
the races under the Turkish rule, and are the 
most adaptable to modern civilisation. These 
are some of the reasons why, in my humble 
opinion, I look upon modern Greece, not only 
as a progressive nation which will in time acquire 
influence in the Near East, but with her important 
maritime positions, her excellent seaports, and 
her army and navy, she should become an ally 
of considerable value to both England and France. 
These, no doubt, are problems reserved for the 
future when Germany is forced to accept the 
inevitable, and ceases to try to realise her dream 
of conquering the world. 

I was in Athens in 1888 on the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of the coronation of the late King 
George of Greece, when I found the town full 
of joyful animation. His Majesty, a kindly, 
sensible king, had earned the confidence and 
affection of the whole nation. At that time 
there was no German influence in the air, 
Greece and her people were united and happy. 
I remember that even the Turks on that occasion 
seemed full of goodwill towards their Majesties, 
and gave a dinner in their honour. The funny 
part of these entertainments was that my nephew, 
who was Secretary to the Turkish Legation, and 
Riza Pasha, the son of Raouf Pasha our great 
friend, who was the Turkish Minister, asked me 
to help them to arrange the Legation for the 
dinner. To my dismay I found the place as 
bare as a Turk's shaved head, but fortunately 
good old Mr Canelli, a Salonika friend, whose 
guest I was at Athens, allowed me to borrow 


a great deal of his lovely furniture, and the 
Legation was soon transformed into a beautifully 
furnished place, so much so that on the day 
following the dinner the Athens papers were 
full of praise for the Sultan of Turkey, for 
sending such beautiful furniture to Athens in 
honour of the occasion. T.R.H. the Duke 
of Edinburgh and Prince George were present 
at the dinner and ball, and the Greek and 
English Royal families appeared much pleased 
at the success of the entertainment. I enjoyed 
it all, as well as the ball given by ^the Queen 
of Greece. It was a great pleasure to me to 
have the honour of again meeting the Duke of 
Edinburgh and our charming young Prince, and 
other friends in their entourage, 

I felt much gratified to find the vast progress 
Athens had made after her liberation from the 
ruinous Turkish yoke. At the time of my first 
visit some half century previously, the population 
had appeared to consist of depressed, unkempt 
people from all parts of Turkey who bore the 
traces of their past serfdom. Athens was only 
just beginning to show something of her old 
beautiful self — many of her ancient monuments 
still lay half buried in the dust, and wholesale 
robberies of some of her treasures had been 

At this last visit my interest in the Schliemann 
collection of treasures, which had been deposited 
in the museum at Athens, was heightened by my 
stay at Troy some years previously. 

Smyrna was one of the old cities on the shores 
of the Mediterranean that I visited several times, 


and which I always found interesting. Smyrna 
with its fine position and its close proximity 
to Ephesus with the old church of St John the 
Divine, the most important centre of Byzantine 
orthodoxy, had always attracted many Greeks 
and foreigners since it had been granted certain 
privileges by various sultans with regard to life 
and property. British traders began to go to 
Smyrna in the seventeenth century, and flourished 
and developed into a wealthy colony, who carried 
on their business in the town and had pleasant 
country-houses in its vicinity. I do not remember 
ever hearing that Smyrna had been subject to 
any of the massacres on the part of the Turks 
during the war of Greek independence, when 
the Turks chopped off heads whenever they had 
a chance. Smyrna, however, had her troubles 
with the barbarous people farther in the interior, 
some of whom, like the Albanians, lived on loot, 
and occasionally came in bands to Smyrna and 
its environs, carrying off property or hostages. 
The situation improved after the construction 
of the railway between Smyrna and Aidin. 
Dr Freshfield, if I remember rightly, had a good 
deal to do with the building of the railway, as 
he loved the country not only for its interesting 
old Byzantine churches, but as the birthplace 
of his beautiful young wife. Miss Zoe Hanson. 
My husband was distantly connected with the 
Hansons, and received much kindness from 
them when he was a student at Smyrna College. 
I became acquainted with old Mr and Mrs Hanson 
when going to England as a young girl, and I 
shall never forget the impression they made on 


me, nor the charm and beauty of their only 
daughter. She and I met again years afterwards 
when we were both married, and both she and 
her husband were very kind to me whenever I 
went to England. She died when still compara- 
tively young, and was buried in the lovely church 
in Surrey dedicated to "The Wisdom of God," 
which Dr Freshfield built not far from his house, 
and to which he presented marbles from the 
church of St John at Ephesus and from the 
monastery of St John Studium at Constantinople. 
Some distance from Smyrna was a district 
inhabited by some semi-savage tribes such as the 
old Turkomans, the Zeibeeks, Kurds, Lazes, and 
Bektashis. The Bektashis are an order of Dervishes 
who live under the control of a chief of their own 
selection. The chief, who wears a large and dis- 
tinctive badge of office round his neck, directs all 
the worldly affairs of the tribe. As a child I heard 
Mr Versami, the then ruling chief, relate to my 
mother his experiences. As a young man he came 
across a property belonging to the Bektashis near 
Smyrna which pleased him and which he rented 
and farmed. The tribe was kind to him and he 
helped them, and after a time they selected him as 
their chieftain. All was friendship and harmony 
between the chief and his subjects till one fine day, 
whilst all the community was at service in the 
Mosque, Versami's herd of pigs got loose and 
stampeded into the Mosque, and made noisy if 
not sweet sounds by their grunts and snorts. The 
devotees, surprised on their knees, were horrified 
to feel the unclean beasts lick their bare feet. 
Disgusted and infuriated thev rushed at the chief 


intent on removing his badge of office, when 
Versami stood up, clasped the badge firmly in 
his hands, and in a stern voice called out, " Stop, 
you ignorant fools, can you not see that there 
must have been a visitation of Shaitans (evil 
spirits) on our peaceful community, which Provi- 
dence in his mercy has driven into these vile 
beasts to punish them before the day fixed for 
their execution, and in the form of these unclean 
creatures they have rushed into this sacred 
building to acknowledge their acceptance of our 
true faith before they meet their doom." 

" Is that so ! " said the Bektashis. 

" It is," answered Versami, with a show of 
handing over his badge. " Take this much- 
honoured badge back if you do not believe me." 

His protest was drowned by a general, *' Hasha, 
hasha, EfFendim " (Never, never, EfFendim) ; and 
thus ended the threatened rebellion. 

Perhaps one of the most interesting things at 
Smyrna was the tribe of the Mamouni, a Jewish 
sect which originated at Smyrna but was trans- 
ferred to Salonika. A Jew named Sabatay Zevy 
rose to great eminence owing to his learning and 
eloquence, but since no one can be a prophet in his 
own country, his brethren persecuted him and had 
him arrested by the Turkish authorities who sent 
him to Constantinople. The then reigning Sultan 
had heard of Sabatay as a prophet and questioned 
him on his power and capacity. Sabatay did his 
best to stand firm on his own ground ; but when 
the Sultan informed him that the termination of 
his earthly existence had already been settled, and 
that he would be decapitated the next day, Sabatay 


was nonplussed and fell at the feet of the Sultan 
and declared himself a true believer of Islamism. 
Thereupon he left Constantinople and worked his 
way to Salonika, openly proclaimed himself as 
a convert to Islamism, but privately represented 
himself to his own community as a prophet and 
reformer of Judaism. His success was wonderful, 
especially among the Jewish women who followed 
him and worshipped him, tearing their hair and 
their clothes in frantic enthusiasm. Most of the 
dogmas and religious ceremonies ordained by 
Sabatay were based on the teaching of the Old 
Testament, and were carefully carried out by the 
community in secret whilst they openly frequented 
the Moslem mosques. One night in the year was 
set aside as a selection meeting, but small as their 
community was, schisms arose and they divided 
into three branches. No marriage out of their 
order was ever allowed to take place. Children 
were formally affianced at birth and these vows 
were never broken. None of the womenkind ever 
left Salonika, but the men were free to go where 
they liked or their interests demanded. There 
was, according to the written instructions left by 
Sabatay on his death, a room always ready for his 
ever - expected return, and one of the faithful 
watched by the entrance gate of the town every 
night to receive him. The women of the com- 
munity were hysterical to the highest degree. 
My doctor and some of his colleagues assured me 
that when one of the women went off into a fit of 
hysteria the whole street followed suit. As a race 
these people were neither handsome nor sympa- 
thetic, but they were clever and open to all modern 


ideas. They were charitable to each other to the 
extent of always supporting and setting right the 
economic position of any of their members who 
needed help. This sect had much influence with 
the Young Turkey Party, and it was due to one or 
more members of the Mamouni community who 
entered the Imperial Palace at Constantinople that 
the dethronement of Sultan Abdul Hamid was 
eventually brought about. 


I MADE one of my many journeys to Constanti- 
nople on board a Russian ship, and I was glad to 
do this since Russian vessels at that time rarely 
visited Salonika. The captain, a refined looking 
man, who spoke French perfectly, impressed me 
as being a good naval officer. The few first-class 
passengers appeared to be Orthodox devotees going 
to Mount Athos to expiate their sins, and to take 
the vow of celibacy on becoming monks in the 
huge Russian monastery. There was as well a 
considerable number of beggarly looking creatures, 
fine men, but unkempt and unwashed, closely 
grouped together on a lower deck, counting their 
beads, muttering prayers, and drinking tea out of 
a huge kettle that frequently made the round of 
the group when each man took a sip or two. 
I could not help watching these savage looking 
creatures at their meals. Each man carried a 
greasy bag which contained a coarse-looking bread 
and some small dried fish, and turned the contents 
of his bag on to the skirt of the long robe he wore, 
his lap serving as a plate, and ate ravenously of 
the simple fare which was washed down with more 
tea from the kettle. I must say it somewhat 
disgusted me to see such a fine, strong set of 



human beings living in such a manner, but 
evidently they formed a realistic picture of the 
Russian Moujik of that time. 

We were to stop at the Holy Mountain, 
Mount Athos, that hill of monasteries of the 
Orthodox Church where no female creature of any 
kind, not even a hen, is ever allowed to land. 

Mount Athos is the easternmost of three 
promontories which project from Thrace into the 
iEgean Sea, and it is here that Orthodox Monasti- 
cism continues to exist as in medieval times. The 
first monastery is believed to have been built by 
the Empress Helen, mother of Constantine the 
Great. In course of time Mount Athos became a 
famous resort for pilgrimages for all the nationali- 
ties professing the Orthodox creed. Of the twenty 
monasteries on Mount Athos seventeen belong to 
Greece and one each to Russia, Serbia, and 
Bulgaria. The moral and religious influence of 
the Holy Mountain continues to be very great 
over Greece and Russia. The wealthiest and 
finest monasteries belong to those two countries, 
especially to Greece. The Grecian monasteries 
made their submission to Mohammed II. before 
the conquest of Constantinople, and obtained from 
him a Firman which secured them many privileges. 
The Russian monastery up to a late date was 
richly subsidised by the Russian Government, and 
received as well, valuable gifts in money and in 
kind from distinguished Russians. 

The rules followed in the monasteries were 
instituted by St Basil. The monks are divided 
into two main classes, one in which they live in 
community under an abbot and abstain from flesh 


all the year round, the other in which asceticism is 
less severe and the monks are directed by two or 
more presidents. 

All the monasteries possess some precious 
relics. Some relate to the Nativity, others to the 
death of our Saviour, others again relate to the 
Virgin Mary. Some monasteries in addition have 
relics of the apostles and saints, which are treasured 
and venerated for the miracles they are said to 
have performed. Besides these sacred treasures 
many of the monasteries possess valuable gems, 
gold and silver objects, as well as priceless old 
manuscripts, books, and pictures, the collection 
of many centuries. Nothing leaves the Holy 
Mountain except the souls of the departed monks. 
All their worldly goods go further to enrich the 

The Russian monastery is said to give shelter 
to many old soldiers who become monks, and who 
are well furnished with arms in case of need. 
Even the rocky grottos of the solitary monks 
who live on the summit of the Holy Mountain are 
ornamented with arms that helped to drive away 
the Turks in former days. It is to be hoped that 
no renewal of such attacks will be attempted by 
the Turks and their associates the Huns at this 
time, for, though Mount Athos could no doubt be 
well defended by its soldier monks, yet the infernal 
high explosives of modern warfare might greatly 
damage this sacred old hill to which so many 
Christians have dedicated their lives and property. 

In spite of the fact that the Empress Helen 
built and endowed the first retreat on Mount 
Athos, yet the laws of St Basil decreed with a 


quaint lack of humour that no female of any kind 
be allowed on the Holy Mountain. St Basil's 
ruling is, however, powerless over the ubiquitous 
flea, and the monks and their attendants battle 
with large family parties of these small but 
determined invaders with beautifully carved long- 
handled weapons (scratchers) with which they 
chase or kill the greedy little pests. 

As we neared the port of Mount Athos the 
bells of the twenty monasteries began to ring in 
honour of the new arrivals on board the ship. 

The captain soon cleared out his devout 
passengers, and as he turned round to say "Au 
revoir " to me before he landed for a visit to the 
Russian monastery, I said, *' Excuse me. Captain, 
but I intend to accompany you on shore." 

He stared at me in amazed surprise and said, 
" Impossible, Madame, impossible, cela ne peut se 
faire. Ce que vous me demandez, Madame, est 
contraire aux reglements de ces saints lieux qui 
defendent a tout etre de votre sexe humain ou 
animal de penetrer par egard au salut de 1 ame des 

I smiled, feeling sure that he did not believe a 
word of what he told me and said, " Monsieur le 
Capitaine, chaque r^gle peut avoir son exception. 
Je suis certain e que cette exception sera faite en 
votre faveur, vue Fimportance que votre arrivee 
vient de causer. Quant aux injures a ma personne 
j'en prends la responsabilite." 

He shrugged his shoulders, saying, " Soit, 
Madame, je ne suis pas responsable pour la 
reception que vous aurez." 

I consequently followed his steps and came 


face to face with a party of venerable monks who 
were horror-stricken on seeing a lady land. After 
they had saluted the captain the monks sharply 
turned back carrying him off. I stood for a few 
seconds uncertain w'hether to go back to the ship 
or to face the unpleasant ordeal of being turned 
into a pillar of salt, a superstition of what would 
happen to any woman who ventured on to Mount 
Athos, which was firmly believed by that ignorant 
community. I decided to risk the calamity, and 
followed the captain and his friends at a little 
distance up to their monastery. Before the party 
entered the gates one or two monks cast a scathing 
look at me and then disappeared. I wandered on, 
charmed with the beauty of the lovely site the 
selfish monks had appropriated to themselves. 
Some of the monasteries appeared to be hanging 
in mid-air since they were built on isolated blocks 
of rock, others were built on patches of fertile soil 
and peacefully reposed on Nature's bright green 
and flowery carpets, while fine old trees of every 
kind gracefully swayed their branches in the 
refreshing breeze. I felt deeply impressed by the 
stillness and the beauty of the surroundings as 
I walked upwards towards the part where the 
monks of solitary order lived in caves and sheltered 
nooks by themselves, and for themselves, in 
expiation of their past sins, and who from time to 
time peeped from under their cowls to contemplate 
a world they had vowed to give up with all its 
joys, sorrows, and vanities. A few jackdaws 
moped about chased by some wretched dogs 
equally condemned to celibacy. Absorbed by 
these sights which interested me much, I did not 


notice that I had reached the gate of another 
monastery, when I was startled by the sudden 
appearance of a rather wild-looking monk who 
stared at me, repeatedly crossed himself, and in 
a menacing frantic voice of horror exclaimed in 
Greek, — 

*' Hola eicraL Koprj tov Saram ; oltto ttov epxearai Kai r/ 
^yirrig eh to Upov avro juepog', Ka/ avrr] rj jULrjnjp Eua Sdv 
Od cToX/xa va Trapova-iaarrj eSw. ^vye djuLeaayg Tretpaa-jULe SioTi 
Sid Trjg Trapovariag crov Taparreig ttjp rja-vxiav tov eiprjviKov 
avTov KOivo/Slov TO OTTOLOV TTepiecfypovrjoe Ta ayaOa tov kocjulov 
oXa Kal TUf dfJLapTiag ttov to <pvXov crov wapacrvpei Tovg 
dvOpcoTTovg. ^vye d/meowg irpiv /xe avayKaa-r]g. va crov KaTa- 
paarOco Kal ere jULCTa^aXco cig crTijXrjv aXaTog.** 

*' Who are you, daughter of Satan, where do you 
come from, and what do you want on this sacred 
spot ? Mother Eve herself would not have dared 
to show her face here. Go away at once, you 
temptress, disturbing as you do by your presence 
this peaceful, holy community which has renounced 
the world and all the sins your sex might lead it to 
commit. Get away at once before you provoke 
me to utter the curse that will surely turn you 
into a pillar of salt." 

"Thank you, father," said I, "for your un- 
christian sentiments and your inhospitable wish 
to turn me into a pillar of salt. Do not forget 
in case your curse has its desired effect to taste a 
bit of the salt, as salt is the savour of life." 

"<i»uye djUiapTCciXri Kopt] ToiTllaTavd, (pvye." 

" Go, go," said he again, " temptress, daughter 
of Satan," and with this he covered his eyes with 
his very dirty hands. 


I hastened away really alarmed by his frantic 
speech. On my way down I met other monks 
who all crossed themselves and looked askance at 
me but made no ill-natured remarks. On the 
contrary, some of them who were returning from 
the ship where they had been with some small 
goods such as crosses, beads, and badges to sell to 
the passengers, stopped me and asked me to buy 
some of their things. I bought a few trifles, 
thinking to myself of the power money exercises 
over the world. I walked towards the port, and 
felt very pleased to meet my captain who was 
anxiously looking out for me and who said, " Ah, 
Dieu merci, je suis heureux de vous retrouver." 

" Mais pas en bloc de sel," said I laughingly. 

" 11 a fallu etre Anglaise pour avoir ainsi brav^ 
le danger," answered he, adding, "Now, Madam, 
that your curiosity has been gratified and your 
presence representing the dreaded and forbidden 
sex has put this holy place topsy-turvy, the sooner 
we get on board and leave the better." 

*'Do you mean. Captain, that that mountain 
of cargo on deck has already been landed and 
housed in the cellars of your monastery ? " 

"Yes," said he, "it consists of foodstuffs for 
the abstemious occupants." 

"Of course," added I, with a certain amount 
of malice, "it must have been very light if it con- 
sisted of dry fish such as I noticed some of your 
passengers ate." 

He gave me a sharp look, and with no further 
interruption on the way beyond the presence of a 
few more monks who also wished me to buy some 
of their trifles, we got on board and proceeded to 


Constantinople where the kind, pleasant captain 
dropped me and continued his journey across the 
Black Sea. 

On the whole I considered this trip as the most 
interesting I had ever made. I felt gratified at 
having been one of the only two women who 
have ever landed on Mount Athos. Lady Strat- 
ford de RedclifFe with the help of her husband had 
visited Mount Athos in spite of protests and 
opposition from the monks. I had succeeded 
merely on the strength of my moral courage in 
imposing my wish on the good captain. The 
captain told me that this most powerful old resort 
of Orthodoxy in the Near East, which had played 
a great role after the conquest of the Byzantine 
Empire, continued to exercise up to the present 
time a powerful influence among all the races of 
the Orthodox faith. The importance of Mount 
Athos, though not political, has been most useful 
in the practical sense, as it has for ages kept open 
the doors of its monasteries as a harbour of refuge 
to great and small notabilities. Most of the 
Russian monks had formerly been soldiers, and 
the yearly cargo which reached Mount Athos and 
was consigned to the Russian monastery without 
passing the custom-house, did not consist of 
dried fish but of arms of all kinds. 

In conversation with the captain, I heard a 
good deal of his country and its people before the 
liberation of the serfs. He described Russia as a 
limitless land rich in natural wealth of every kind. 
The people, ignorant and uncultured, were ruled by 
a small section of educated people who formed a 
highly despotic government. He thought that 


when the people began to grow and develop 
Russia would be split into many factions, and that 
it would take a long time and need many sacrifices 
before she would pull herself together and form a 
nation in harmony with the other Great Powers. 
I sometimes wonder if this long-sighted captain is 
still alive to witness the chaotic state of his country 
at the present time. 



The Greco-Turkish War broke out in 1897 at 
the time that Greece was frantic over the desperate 
position of her Cretan brethren, and the European 
Powers hesitated to take any active action to 
prevent the massacres organised by Sultan 
Hamid's agents. The patriotic association in 
Greece, the "'WviKri 'Eraipela'' or National Com- 
mittee, decided to send a body of troops to Crete 
and to declare war against Turkey, in spite of 
the fact that neither the King nor the nation 
at large approved of the step. In the meantime, 
the European forces which began to pour into 
Crete remained inactive, owing to the cunning 
Sultan's diplomatic double game, till the appalling 
massacres occurred, when many unfortunate 
Christian families, among whom the wife and 
child of Mr Kalokerinos, the British Agent, and 
other members of his family, were ruthlessly 
murdered. I do not intend to enter into the 
details of the Greco-Turkish War, and shall only 
state a few matters connected with Salonika and 
relate some of the rumours that reached us from 
the seat of war. Neither Greece nor Turkey was 
prepared for war, least of all the latter, whose 



forces were scattered all over the countries com- 
prising the Sultan's Empire. When the town 
criers in Salonika called out the news that war 
had been declared between Turkey and Greece 
it took the people by surprise. The impression 
of unpreparedness of both countries was prevalent ; 
but the news proved to be true, and shortly after- 
wards 50,000 Turkish troops landed at Salonika 
destined for Thessaly. It is only right, in justice 
to these troops, to state that there was not a 
single case of disorder or theft reported against 
them, in spite of the fact that all essentials as 
regards clothing, commissariat, and medical care 
were absent. I do not know the number of the 
Greek forces in Larissa under Prince Constantine 
that the Turks were to meet, but judging by the 
reports that reached Salonika the battle could 
not have been serious, since the Prince was 
reported to have left the camp at the approach 
of the enemy forces, a fact* which made so bad 
an impression in Greece that the Prince found 
it necessary to leave the country for a considerable 

Great dismay was caused among the Turkish 
authorities on hearing that the Greek Fleet was 
seen outside the Bay of Salonika. The Turkish 
Commander - in - chief, who called on us the 
following morning, assured us that he had not 
closed his eyes for three nights, since the entrance 
to the Bay was undefended and the Greek Fleet 
could have come in and taken possession oifealonika 
without firing a gun. 

The dismay subsequent to the declaration of 
war was still greater among the Hellenic subjects 


in Macedonia, then under the dominion of the 
Turks, owing to the brutal conduct of the Turkish 
authorities in driving the unfortunate people out 
of their homes down to the seashore, where 
they hoped, but vainly, to find ships to take them 
to Greece. My husband as usual was the first 
to take up the case of these destitute refugees and 
went to the Governor, Riza Pasha, a kindly humane 
man, who greatly helped to modify the situation 
until boats could come from the Pirasus to take 
them away. 

About half a dozen English war correspondents 
turned up at Salonika with extraordinary rapidity. 
They were Mr Bigham, son of Mr Justice Bigham 
(now Lord Mersey), who represented the Times 
and was a bright, clever youngster ; Mr Stevenson, 
whose untimely death was, I believe, a great 
loss to the literary world, owing to his many 
gifts and his distinguished personality, as well as 
Mr Gwynne and one or two more, who must 
have made their mark, as they were all clever, 
gifted men. The first to reach Salonika was Mr 
Bigham at about 3 a.m. one morning. He drove 
straight to the Consulate and insisted on seeing 
my husband. The kavass said he did not think 
his master would care to come down and see 
a visitor at so unusual an hour. Mr Bigham 
sent up a message to my husband, who replied, 
" Ask the gentleman to come upstairs," forgetting 
that I was in bed not far ofi* But the kavass 
had already gone with the message, and I had 
only time to jump out of my nice warm bed and 
go behind a curtain, where I was kept for at least 
twenty minutes, while Mr Bigham discussed with 


258 • MR BIGHAM 

my husband the necessity of his obtaining a permit 
from the Governor in order to pass the frontier. 
" Well," said my husband, amused at the persist- 
ence of his visitor, **all I can do for you is to 
give you a kavass to show you the way to the 
Governor's house." " Thank you, sir," said 
young Bigham, beaming with delight, "I think 
I can manage the rest." And he did, for he got 
the Governor out of his bed and obtained the 
permit he wanted. The next time the Governor 
met my husband he said, "What extraordinary 
people the English must be, if all are as persistent 
as the friend you sent me, who would not take 
* No ! ' for an answer, but turned me out of 
my bed and made me do as he wished." I got 
to know Mr Bigham better when later on he 
stayed with us on his return from the seat of war, 
when I told him of the unpleasant twenty minutes 
he had given me. He expressed his regrets, but 
said that it had been worth a fortune to him as it 
had enabled him to get several hours ahead of his 
colleagues, so that he had had the privilege of 
sending the earliest war news home. All the 
English correspondents came in a body to see me 
when they returned to Salonika. They were not 
only unshaved but their beards were long and 
they wore wonderful costumes of Greek capes, red 
Turkish belts, and dust-covered clothes, so that 
I hardly knew one from the other. They were 
evidently well pleased with themselves, for they 
jokingly asked me to go for a walk with them. 
I flatly refused, saying I had no wish to exhibit 
myself in the company of half a dozen outlandish 
looking men, but I would gladly go if they made 


themselves presentable. Most of this interesting 
group of men remained about a week in Salonika, 
discussing the past, present, and future of Greece 
with surprisingly good knowledge and clear insight, 
especially with regard to Macedonia. They were 
greatly surprised that neither the Cretan troubles 
nor the Greco-Turkish War made the Macedonian 
Greeks give the slightest sign of desiring to take 
any part with their countrymen in fighting the 
Turks. Well acquainted as I was with the ideas 
and aspirations of the Macedonian Greeks, since 
I often discussed the subject with the patriotic 
set, I knew they had all agreed that a rising of the 
Macedonian Greeks would have been unwise and 
useless, likely to lead to great disaster, since the 
movement started in Greece had no serious 
foundation, but was the outcome of the '^OvtKrj 
'Eraipeia, National Committee, which was composed 
of hot-headed men. At the same time rumours 
were afloat that Germany probably had a hand 
in the matter, in order to push forward her pro- 
jected influence in Greece. The Greeks, far from 
being ready for war themselves, made no sign 
to their Macedonian brethren to come and help 
them, and these latter made no move all the time 
the Turkish army was present. Even the peasants 
in mixed villages (Turks and Greeks) went on 
peacefully working in the fields. The Turks, 
on the other hand, were pressing in from all 
directions to join the army on the march, though 
the army lacked the principal necessaries, which, 
however, were said to be following on from 
Constantinople in readiness for the great battle, 
which was, I believe, to be fought at Volo. 


When the battle was fought there was little 
damage to either side. These facts are gathered 
from the Greek Archbishop at Salonika, whose 
confidence I enjoyed as to what was going on 
in Macedonia. 

The Turks brought in about three score 
prisoners with a certain display of satisfaction, 
leading them through the main street of Salonika 
on their way to be incarcerated in the White 
Tower. I happened to be walking in that 
direction when I noticed the procession of 
prisoners followed by a rabble of Jews, jubilant 
and noisy, and making insulting remarks regarding 
the prisoners. At that very moment the coupe of 
the Governor, who was a very little man, drove 
up, and as he came face to face with the prisoners 
and the crowd he got out of his carriage, spat 
once or twice into the palms of his hands, took 
a firm hold of the heavy stick he was carrying, and 
suddenly appeared to be transformed into a giant 
as he struck out right and left with force and 
precision on the backs of the Jews. Howls and 
screams ensued, and " A Dio Signor del Monde ! " 
was called out by one and all. The cries could 
be heard at the end of the street, but did 
not last long, as the crowd quickly dispersed 
and disappeared. 

Later on, in 1912, the taking of Salonika by 
the Greeks entirely altered the situation. Prince 
Constantine in the subsequent war entirely 
redeemed his military reputation and became a 
great favourite in Greece, until on succeeding his 
worthy father. King George, he allowed himself to 
fall under the damaging influence of Germany, 


when he ruined his own cause as well as that of 

The war came to an end through England's 
political pressure and her practical assistance. 
England lent Greece four millions at two per cent., 
in order that she might settle the claims of Turkey. 
The war was inglorious except for Koutsflena, a 
Greek village of a thousand inhabitants, which 
happened to be planted on the old Turco-Greek 
frontier and remained under Turkish dominion. 
The inhabitants of this village, all Greeks, wisely 
razed their village to the ground and burnt every 
vestige of it and rebuilt it in Greek territory. 

The Near East question is so far-reaching, 
important, and dangerous that unless carefully 
revised and placed on a sound basis within a short 
time trouble will break out once more. May God 
help the people directly concerned. 

Neither friends nor adversaries can put any 
confidence in Bulgarian promises or written con- 
ventions, for, if convenient to themselves, they will 
consider them worthless and of no consequence. 
The Bulgarians, such as I knew them, were a hard- 
working people, grasping and greedy for extension 
of territory. They understand the advantage to 
be derived from large homesteads, and whilst other 
races have to dower their young daughters when 
giving them in marriage, the Bulgarian father 
keeps his daughters at home as long as possible to 
cultivate the soil, and when he has to part with 
them it is the affianced husband who gives a dower 
to his future father-in-law before he can claim his 
bride. The Bulgarian will be found to be a tough 
element to deal with unless all his teeth are drawn. 


Justice and generosity do not appeal to him. He 
neither practises them nor understands them. 
The Turks, who formerly lorded it over them, 
ordered that their heads should be shaved, except 
for one long tuft of hair, which must appear 
through a hole in the top of their sheepskin caps. 
This tuft of hair was used by the Turks as a 
handle to shake them into obedience. I much 
fear the indulgence of the Entente towards them 
will make matters very difficult to bring into line, 
and the sooner the Dedeagatch railway is taken 
out of their power the better. 

The well-known inconsequent ways and dealings 
of the Turks, added to their late tuitions under 
their masters, the Huns, are sure further to 
complicate matters. I am sure that half measures 
with Turks and Bulgarians will be found in the 
long run to be as bad as no measures at all. 

But to return to Macedonia and the problem 
as regards the future. I learn on good authority 
that the whole country is clamouring to be placed 
under the suzerainty of Great Britain. The 
English, the Macedonians declare, are the only 
good, generous, humane people. " The French 
and Italians may be good and great in their way," 
say they, "but they look on us as unfortunate, 
debased people, whilst the English respect us and 
show us their sympathy. Nor is there need to 
mention the way in which they treat our women- 
kind. With us our maidens are kind, pleasant, 
and moral in their behaviour, and therefore the 
saying has arisen that to be gentle and well- 
behaved is to be like a girl. So strongly has the 
good behaviour of the English soldiers impressed 


itself on us that when they are seen marching 
through the country it is no uncommon thing for 
the peasants to leave their work in the fields while 
they watch the soldiers, and to hear them call out, 
since it is the highest praise they can give the 
soldiers, ' The girls are passing ! The girls are 
passing ! ' When French and Italian troops are 
passing no such praise is forthcoming ; on the 
contrary, the girls and women run away and hide 

This sentiment is so general in Macedonia that 
Mr Repoulis, the Vice - President of Greece, 
mentioned it in a speech in the Chamber. 

Macedonia is a wealthy country, and great, I 
believe, will be the future of its capital, Salonika, 
if, helped by fortune, it falls under the administra- 
tion of a good and wise government. The Greeks, 
Turks, Jews, and Europeans of all nationalities 
would then be free to develop, unhindered by 
political intrigues or national upheavals. 

I wish the dear old country all success and 



It was after the short Greco-Turkish War and 
the rumours of a rising in Macedonia, and soon 
after the massacres in Crete in 1898, that Jeanne 
and I went to Kandia to spend a few weeks with 
my son, who was A.D.C. to Colonel Sir Herbert 
Chermside, the British Commissioner. 

About the time of the rising the British 
Government, in spite of warnings, had thought fit 
to reduce the garrison of the Province of Kandia, 
the part allotted to British jurisdiction, to half a 
battalion under the command of Lt.- Colonel 
Reid of the Highland Light Infantry (71st Foot). 
Sir Herbert Chermside was temporarily absent 
when the Moslem population of Kandia massacred 
700 men, women, and children of the Christian 
population, among whom were about 45 men 
of the Highland Light Infantry. A certain 
number of women and children in the town were 
saved by the bravery of Padre Antonino of the 
Capuchin Order, who collected them in his 
monastery. When the Moslems had done their 
worst in the town they attacked the monastery. 
Padre Antonino opened the gates and stood in the 
gateway with his arms widely stretched and called 


out in a loud voice, '' Come on, my friends, I am 
ready for you, but before a single bullet reaches 
those behind me it must first pass through my 
heart." The rabble, strange to say, melted away 
like magic, and the monastery was not further 
attacked. When I heard of the bravery of this 
heroic priest I called on him to express my esteem 
and admiration of his conduct. He smiled, saying, 
" It was no merit of mine, but an inspiration from 
above, which helped me to save a number of 
fellow creatures from death and worse." 

Two young officers greatly contributed to put 
a rapid stop to the carnage by giving notice, at 
the risk of their lives, to our men-of-war in the 
Bay. The Turkish fortress and quarter were at 
once bombarded by the guns of the men-of-war 
and the massacres ceased. These terrible doings 
in Crete roused tlie whole of Europe, and troops 
of all nationalities poured into the island and 
men-of-war arrived, and finally this lovely old 
island of Grecian fame was freed from the cursed 
dominion of Turkey, and placed under Prince 
George of Greece, who was nominated as High 
Commissioner. St Paul states that a prophet of 
the Cretans described them as ** always liars, evil 
beasts," and this can be readily understood. A 
Christian population, under the dominion of the 
Turks, has an extremely hard time, and practises 
all sorts of subterfuges in order that it may be let 
alone. The Turks, on the other hand, are roused 
to fury against the Christians, who are hard- 
working people, and murder and massacre their 
Christian subjects in all parts of the Empire, as 
soon as a favourable opportunity arises. 


It is this cruel treatment by the Turks that 
induces a certain number of Christians to take 
refuge in Islamism, and it is an interesting fact 
that these perverts become extremely fanatical 
and are the greatest enemies of the Christians. 
The best thing that could happen for the unfortu- 
nate Christian population of Crete was their 
severance from the galling and degrading Turkish 
yoke. The number of lives lost in the Kandia 
massacre was largely, if not wholly, due to the 
confidence England had placed in Sultan Hamid's 
false promises of reforms to the Christian popula- 
tion, promises which he never intended to fulfil. 
The effect of the European Gendarmerie Corps, 
which was to do great things in keeping the people 
in order, was accepted enthusiastically by Sultan 
Hamid, since he was confident of the fiasco such a 
body would prove to be, as it had no power to 
arrest or condemn the Turkish officials at fault, as 
they were completely protected by the secret 
forces of the Sultan. The Cour Judiciare appointed 
under the Presidency of Mr Alvarez, one of our 
able consuls, and another European President had 
no better success, and caused endless jealousies 
and wranglings. The expulsion of the Turks from 
the island was certainly no small success. On 
this point I heard of the able and highly distin- 
guished role that Captain Custance played by 
shipping four thousand refugees to the island of 
Milo with every comfort and security. The 
expulsion of the Turkish forces is also worthy of 
mention. The troops were made, much against 
their wish, to embark on the ships that were to 
take them to Turkey. My son, owing to his 


knowledge of Turkish, was sent on board shortly 
before the vessel sailed to claim the key of the 
fortress, which the commander was carrying away. 
My son told me that there was one moment when 
he thought there was but little chance of his 
getting out alive from the enraged crowd of 
soldiers burning with indignation at the humilia- 
tion of their expulsion. However, he succeeded 
in obtaining the key, and on landing at once went 
to the fortress and lowered the Turkish flag. The 
expulsion of the Turkish forces had been delayed 
till after the arrest, condemnation and hanging 
of the criminals who had murdered the British 
soldiers. In spite of the fact that 5000 inter- 
national troops were in Kandia, the chief insti- 
gators of the massacre, the Sultan's representative 
and the chief of the police, managed to escape. 

When Jeanne and I arrived at Kandia all the 
trouble was over. The diplomatic and political 
questions were settled. Colonel Sir Herbert 
Chermside, who had been High Commissioner for 
some time, was a great favourite, especially among 
the Cretan hanoums. After the punishment of 
the culprits the Moslem fanatical element hurried 
away as fast as it could find boats to take it. 

The Gendarmerie Corps, composed of a variety 
of nationalities, was quartered close to the little 
house I had taken. It was an unkempt, unshaved, 
poor-looking lot of men, not in any way to be 
compared to our fine, trim military police, who 
were imposing in appearance and correct in their 
"behaviour. Many of the Christian families who 
had left the island immediately after the massacre 
had not yet returned, but a good many liberal- 


minded Moslem families were still there, waiting to 
learn the fate of their beloved island, and inspired 
by the hope that it might be placed under the 
suzerainty of Great Britain. I was asked by Sir 
Herbert Chermside to attend a meeting of Moslem 
ladies to learn their sentiments and opinions. I 
willingly consented to do this. On my entering 
the room, crowded with ladies, they all rose and 
received me most kindly and with one voice 
asked me, " How is our dear friend. Sir Herbert 
Chermousaki (Chermside) ? When is he going to 
write to Victoria, the great Queen of England, to 
ask her to take us under her protection and 
appoint him our Governor ? We love the EngUsh 
as they are not like any other nation. We have 
samples of all the nations in the Gendarmerie 
Corps, and we cordially detest them all and their 
impudent manners towards us, except the English, 
who, be they officers or men, are respectful to us." 

I hastened to communicate these flattering 
sentiments to Sir Herbert, who was naturally 
pleased to hear of them. I felt pretty certain that 
the message these ladies entrusted to his care to 
be conveyed to Her Majesty Queen Victoria 
would not bring about the result they desired. 

The weather towards the end of February was 
most delightful. In spite of the recent ravages 
and the destruction of olive groves, orange gardens, 
and vineyards, the fertile country left to the free 
caprice of Nature lost no time in adorning itself 
with millions of anemone blossoms of every hue 
and with a great variety of other plants and ferns, 
which delighted Sir Herbert Chermside, who was 
a true lover and student of Nature. The country 


was perfectly safe, in spite of the fact that our 
forces were being withdrawn. My son and his 
bright young fellow officers became very much at 
home in the little house I had secured for Jeanne 
and myself. We had a fat old Cretan cook, who 
proved to be far more eloquent in pleading the 
wrongs of her country than capable of the practice 
of her profession. At times hosts and guests had 
to remove her out of the way while they tried 
their 'prentice hands at cooking. Provisions were 
good and plentiful, though rather dear, but this 
always occurs where English gold makes its ap- 
pearance. Yaghourt (soured milk), kaimac, a very 
rich cream, and all native products were greatly 
appreciated, as well as the excellent fruit. The 
weekly market held on the Piazza was both 
interesting and profitable, as the peasants, chiefly 
women, used to come down with their loads of 
edibles, as well as with home-made rugs, woven 
cloths, and a kind of serge of excellent quality. 
The people looked vigorous and healthy and had a 
type of their own, a sure sign that the Cretan 
race had remained pure in spite of its having 
passed through times of great national misfortunes, 
when it had lost its old prosperity and glory and 
become degraded and broken by the Ottoman 
conquests. No human race that in its prosperous 
ages has risen and distinguished itself by reason 
of virtues and merits ever loses entire caste, and 
its people, even when bottled up for centuries 
on an island, will be found still fresh and vigorous. 
This can be well said of the brave Cretans who 
had suffered much and suffered long in their 
captivity, but who have produced a M. Venizelos, 


a generous and gifted leader, and the able re- 
creator of modern Greece. In speaking of the 
hoped-for future prosperity of Crete, joined' now 
to the mother country Greece, I must not forget 
to speak of its beautiful archaeological treasures. 
Crete, like Troy, had for centuries had relics 
buried in the depths of her soft oily soil. During 
the Turkish domination occasional finds had been 
known to have been made, but unlike Troy 
she had had no Dr Schliemann to unearth pottery 
and marble and to bring them together and show 
examples of her past art. All I saw in the museum 
at Kandia was a collection of articles of no special 
value cast about pell-mell on the dusty ground. 
Doubtless there were treasures to be found among 
them, and it is to be hoped they were given their 
proper place by Sir Arthur Evans, a great student 
of Grecian antiquities, who was an old friend of 
mine, and who reached Kandia just as I had gone 
on board ship to return to Salonika. I left Crete 
rather hurriedly as I had received a telegram from 
my husband telling me he had been appointed 
Consul-General at Boston. I learned later that 
Sir Arthur Evans' explorations in Crete had been 
most successful. 

Before leaving Crete I paid a visit to Canea. 
It appeared to have preserved a good deal of its 
ancient remains about the port and old bastions. 
I stopped a few days under the hospitable roof 
of the Consul-General and his wife. Sir Alfred 
and Lady Biliotti. Sir Alfred's intelligent and 
useful services during the rebellion were much 
appreciated by our Government. In spite of 
being as deaf as a post it was astonishing how 


he managed to carry out successfully his arduous 
diplomatic relations with his numerous colleagues, 
who were in anything but cordial relations with 
one another. I had a pleasant time here, and 
even assisted at the marriage of one of Lady 
Biliotti's granddaughters, a thin, delicate looking 
child of sixteen, to a gigantic Montenegrin, who 
was a Captain in the Gendarmerie Corps. I 
felt sorry for the child when I thought of the 
hard work that awaited her in her new home, 
where the kneading of bread and the drawing 
of water from the public fountains would fall 
to her share. Years ago I remember a Slav 
doctor with the Turkish army told me that he 
had heard on the best authority that the valiant 
King of Montenegro washed his own socks at 
night in order to have them dry and ready to 
put on in the morning. Stories of much the same 
practical kind are told of the sweet Queen of 
Italy, and her knowledge of home industries is 
said at times to astonish the Italian haut monde, 
I consider it a great privilege to understand 
household work and to practise it occasionally, 
for one never knows what destiny has in store 
for one. Luckily the modern girl, owing to the 
many and varied works she has been called upon 
to do in consequence of this long and trying war 
will have something to thank it for in making 
her familiar with many phases of household and 
other work. 



On arrival at Salonika on my return from Crete 
I found my husband buried beneath a mound 
of letters and newspaper cuttings he had collected 
during nearly fifty years' official life, and which 
fortunately he had been able to save at the time 
the Consulate was burned down. As he was 
a great newspaper reader and a most orderly 
person in the management of his private and 
official correspondence, he had dated and numbered 
each letter or cutting, had noted his own reflections 
on the latter and arranged them in indexed 
volumes, so that when writing on any subject 
concerning Turkey he could at once refer to his 
notes. The volumes of these cuttings filled many 
boxes, and before my husband left for Boston he 
entrusted them to my care to have them sent to 
whatever place we should choose for our permanent 
home. I had them all brought to Malta, thanks 
to some of our kind friends in the Navy. 1 
sometimes peep at this accumulation of interesting 
papers, and regret that up to the present time 
I have not been able to make use of them. 

My husband's appointment to Boston as British 
Consul, while retaining his title of Consul-General, 



had been a surprise to me and to many others 
interested in his work in the Near East. One 
or two papers criticised his transference to the 
New World as an error since it took away on^ 
of the oldest and best informed British Agents in 
Turkey. Be this as it may, my husband was a 
persona grata with the Americans, and was well 
known in their Government Department as having 
rendered good service to American subjects, 
many of whom were missionaries in Upper 
Macedonia and Bulgaria and in places where 
America had no representative. My husband 
had received the thanks of the President of the 
United States on three occasions, and after the 
lamentable murder of Mr Merion, one of the 
missionaries at Philippopolis, he was offered the 
post of American Consul in Macedonia. This 
position, however, he was unable to accept in 
addition to his work as British Consul. 

Sir John's appointment to Boston was to fill 
up his final term of three or four years in the 
Service. Its object was a gracious attention on 
the part of Lord Salisbury to modify as far as he 
could the small salary my husband had had as 
Consul- General at Salonika, since an additional 
two hundred pounds per annum was given in the 
pension to the holder of the Boston post. Un- 
fortunately my husband only enjoyed this addition 
to his pension long enough to pay off the debts 
he had incurred at Salonika in consequence of his 
determination to represent Her Majesty Queen 
Victorias Government adequately. 

Some of our men-of-war were still at Salonika, 
but busy as we both were pulling down, packing 



up, and setting apart for sale such of our furniture 
as we could not take away, we neither of us missed 
any opportunity of seeing our naval friends, among 
whom were Admiral Troubridge and his officers. 
We had a farewell lunch with them, and drank 
the last bottles of champagne from the cellar 
to wish God-speed to my dear husband, who, alas ! 
left next morning for Boston. 

After lunch we went on to the verandah and 
were photographed in a group. 

It was on his departure that I realised how 
popular my husband had made himself in Salonika. 
Half the town was at the station to bid him 
farewell, and he felt much affected on leaving 
the country in which he had spent a life-time, 
and in which he had made so many good friends. 
But such is life. Who can control the turns 
of the wheel of fortune ? 

After my husband had gone, Jeanne and I had 
hard work to settle everything and to hand over 
the dear old Consulate to an ungracious Austrian 
Consul, and his still more ungracious Slav wife, 
who insisted on taking possession of the house 
within two days of my husband's departure, and 
who refused my request that I might leave one or 
two of my boxes in the basement till I could find 
some other place to house them in. The fatigue 
and worry of those two days were so great that for 
the first time I felt really exhausted, and realised 
that the years which had slipped by so quickly in 
the enjoyment of peace and comfort in my home 
had left their mark upon me. 

I went to stay for a few days' rest with some 
friends before I started for Constantinople on a 


visit to my dear brother, Sir Alfred Sandison. I 
was very glad in after years that I had made this 
journey to Constantinople, as it was the last time 
I saw my brother, my sister, Mrs Longworth, and 
my good kind cousin Edward, the three dearest 
relatives I had, who all passed away in the course 
of the next few years. These losses weighed 
heavily on me in after life. Some people are 
happy enough to be able to live on their remem- 
brances of the past. I never could bring myself 
to do so, as, when these are pleasant, I cannot but 
regret them, and when the reverse they cause me 

During this visit to Constantinople I found the 
place changed for the worse. It was after the 
massacre of the poor Armenian community, and 
wherever I went I found that sad, cruel affair the 
chief topic of conversation. The doors of innocent, 
harmless families had been marked during the 
night, so that their houses might be recognised in 
order to separate them from other European and 
Christian communities. The horror of the scenes 
baffle description. Men, women, and children 
were cut up, wherever they could be found, or 
drowned or caused to disappear, never to be seen 
or heard of again. The worst of it was that these 
people do not seem to have given the least 
provocation, nor had they the least knowledge 
of what was awaiting them. 

I heard much talk, during this visit, of the 
Germans and the influence they had begun to 
exercise over Turkish affairs. The Turkish Army 
was under German control and largely officered by 
Germans, and the Germans and their wives were 


busy in their efforts to ingratiate themselves with 
Turkish famiUes, in order to create an easy 
entrance into the commercial world. A number 
of German shops had sprung into existence filled 
with German goods at such low prices that every- 
body rushed to secure what they could. I 
remember buying for a shilling a good knife, 
which I still possess. I am sure a similar pocket- 
knife could not have been bought for less than 
six or seven shillings in London. Beer-shops 
increased vastly in number both in Pera and 
Stamboul. I was passing one of these beer-shops 
one day when a German, accompanied by a native, 
came to a standstill. The native indicated the 
beer-shop ; the German stamped his foot and said, 
"Die kirche, die kirche, ich wiirde an die kirche 
gehen." The man turned to me and asked me 
if I could tell him what the German wanted. 
When I told him he said, " How could I guess he 
wanted a church, when all the Germans I see ask 
me the way to the beer-house." 

I do not think that the Germans were ever 
popular at Constantinople, nor was the Kaiser's 
visit with the Empress and his staff much appreci- 
ated, owing to the large amount of money it 
cost the Treasury. The Sultan, Abdul Hamid, 
had made it a point that all the expenses of the 
Kaiser's journey to Jerusalem were to be defrayed 
by the Turkish Government. I happened to be 
at Constantinople at the time, and felt amused 
after the Kaiser's departure to hear the reflections 
made in Turkish circles on the meagre return His 
Majesty made to the Sultan for the very valuable 
and beautiful gems aind other precious things 


he and the Kaiserin had received. The Kaiser 
presented to his Imperial host a stick which had 
belonged to his great-grandfather. Was this to 
show that he intended the Turks to obey him ? 
On his return to Berlin the Kaiser was more 
generous in his gift to the Governor of Jerusalem 
and sent a life-size portrait of himself in rich robes 
and decorations, to be hung in Government 
House. No sooner did the picture reach Jerusalem 
than the German Consul came to announce 
officially the arrival of his master's promised gift, 
and to desire that it should be hung in accordance 
with the Kaiser's order next to that of his beloved 
friend, the Sultan. The poor Governor could not 
but draw a comparison between the magnificent 
portrait of the Kaiser and the twopenny halfpenny 
oleograph of the Sultan which hung on the wall, 
and whilst profusely thanking the Consul for the 
gift, he said he felt it was beyond his power to 
place the Kaiser's portrait next to that of the 

*'Well," said the Consul, "I want to see it 
placed according to the instructions I have received, 
next to that of H.M. the Sultan." 

The Governor, who felt he must temporise, 
said, " Of course, EfFendin, of cburse, but before 
hanging the portrait I must have some repairs 
done to the room." The Consul, feehng it would 
not be tactful to show any opposition to this 
suggestion, withdrew, but begged that the 
Governor would lose no time in getting the 
repairs done. 

As soon as the Consul had taken his departure 
the poor Governor rubbed his hands in despair. 


called his Council to his aid and explained the 
situation to them. 

" If this grand portrait of the Kaiser is hung 
beside the miserable portrait of the Sultan, every- 
one in the country will consider that the Kaiser 
and not the Sultan is the master of Jerusalem." 
The Council, embarrassed, decided to telegraph to 
the Porte for instructions. The answer came 
back " Temporise," not reckoning on the German 
Consul's insistence to see the portrait hung at once. 
After a warning or two the Consul threatened that 
if the portrait was not put in the place indicated 
within twenty-four hours he would report the 
Governor, when he would have to suffer the 
consequences. A fresh despatch of telegrams to 
the Porte ensued, when the Sultan, though 
annoyed, had to submit and gave the necessary 

I wonder if our glorious Army found the 
portrait still there when they entered Jerusalem, 
and if so if they turned its face to the wall in the 
same way that Abd-el-Kader at Brussa turned the 
portrait of Napoleon III. to the wall after the 
French escort left him. Anyhow, the best use 
that our brave soldiers could make of the portrait 
would be to use it for a target to practise upon. 

I did not enjoy this visit to Constantinople at 
all. There was a dulness about the place and a 
disquieting agitation among the diplomatic corps 
of no good omen. Even at my dear brother's 
place there were comings and goings of worried 
looking people who came to talk over matters 
with him. I felt I should be more comfortable 
and more at my ease in Salonika and returned 


there to spend a few weeks at Sedes, a charming 
watering-place a few miles from Salonika, where 
my husband and I had frequently stayed, as we 
greatly enjoyed the walks in the country towards 
the Hortiach mountain, from the summit of which 
we had frequently watched the beautiful effects of 
the setting sun. I do not know whether the 
waters at the Sedes baths had ever been correctly 
analysed, but they contained sulphur, iron, and 
alkalis, and were most efficacious in some cases. 
I had seen people doubled up with rheumatism 
arrive at the baths, and after a few days become so 
much better that they were able to walk easily. 
My own experience was that a few weeks' stay at 
Sedes now and again kept me free from the horrid 
articular rheumatism to which I have now become 
a victim, and which only allows me to take a few 
steps outside without support. How I wish I 
could return to Sedes for a course of baths ! In 
my time there was no proper accommodation, only 
a wretched han and three or four miserable 
cottages. The baths were of Roman construction, 
patched up here and there with wood where they 
had given way. Sedes itself is placed on a fertile 
plateau and is a healthy, breezy place, close to the 
foot of the Hortiach mountain, and not far from 
the marshes, much appreciated by sportsmen for 
the snipe and wild fowl of all kinds to be found 
there. 1 hope the waters at Sedes are being made 
use of by the wounded as well as by the rheumatic 
patients of our Army. 

During the year I spent in Salonika after my 
husband had left for Boston, 1 felt much en Vair 
and spent six months with my good friends, Mr and 


Mrs Charles Allatini, who had a beautiful house in 
the country, which was always hospitably open to 
the many friends they had in the Navy. Later 
on, when the Allatinis made their home in 
England their house was bought by the Young 
Turkey Party, who used it as a prison for Sultan 
Abdul Hamid and part of his harem. Sultan 
Hamid remained there until a few years later, 
when he was removed to one of the small islands 
near Constantinople, from whence I hear he has 
just passed into the next world to enter, I suppose, 
the Gates of Gehennem, as the Turks say, to 
expiate all the crimes he committed here. It is 
due to the evil genius of Sultan Hamid that 
Turkey has been brought to the verge of ruin, yet, 
in spite of all his double dealings, he managed, as 
he justly boasted, to keep the country together, 
leaving to the Young Turkey Party the work of 
its dismemberment and the delusion of rebuilding 
Turkey as a purely Osmanli power and of making 
it the conqueror of the world. 

Salonika I hear is much changed since I left it 
nineteen years ago, and it is thought that in time 
it may become a prosperous important town. I 
also hear that it is the hope and ambition of the 
Greek population to see Salonika, and in fact the 
whole of Macedonia, pass under British protection. 
This hope and ambition appear to take root 
wherever our glorious Navy and Army set foot, 
but this is in no way surprising, for the people say : 
" Wherever the English go, instead of taking from 
us, as the other nations do whatever they can, 
they mend, build, and help in every possible way." 
I believe there is much wealth to be found in 


minerals of every kind around Salonika. An 
English engineer, who inspected the country in 
search of coal some years ago, stated in his report 
that a huge bed of lignite extended from the town 
of Salonika to some distance into the country. 
Agriculture could yield much better returns than 
it does if there were better irrigation. I had a 
maid from a Greek village not far from Salonika 
whose father, a very respectable peasant, came one 
day and asked to see me. 

'' Kyria '' (Madame), said he, " I come to ask 
you to purchase a very fine chrome mine for thirty 
liras." This reminded me of my silkworm experi- 
ence at Adrianople in my younger days, but as I 
knew my husband would object to my embarking 
on any speculation of the kind I refused with 
thanks. Later on, I was told that Sultan Hamid's 
Comptroller of the Civil List had bought the 
chrome mine and within a short time realised 
£10,000 out of it. Such unbelievable cases 
occurred frequently in Turkey owing to the 
incapacity of the Turks to form companies, and 
also because there was much difficulty in getting 
the necessary concessions from the Sultan. In 
those days Yildiz, the Imperial Palace, was a nest 
of shameless corruption, where one favourite tried 
to nullify the promises made to another to obtain 
the Sultan's signature. It cost the applicant a 
fortune to settle the claims of the various people 
who promised to obtain the Sultan's wished-for 
signature, the Sultan himself, it was more than 
suspected, having a share in the spoils. 



The prospect of travelling to Boston alone was 
not cheering. I had been constantly surrounded 
by many friends for twenty-five years in the 
interesting old country of Macedonia, the home of 
the Grecian gods and goddesses, who, in spirit, 
had reigned supreme over its fertile valleys beneath 
the shelter of the snow-covered Mount Olympus 
and its sister Mount Pindus, where mortals, when 
Greece was at the zenith of her art, had built 
temples and had adorned them with exquisite taste 
for the benefit of devout worshippers. The 
Roman and Byzantine Powers had also left 
treasures of art, some of which fortunately had 
not been entirely devastated by the Ottoman 
conquest. In course of time other forces had 
aided in making the history of Macedonia and in 
Salonika, its old capital, changes had been made 
and continue to be made, which I trust are of 
good omen. Foreseeing more or less of what was 
coming I felt very sorry to leave Salonika after 
the good times I had enjoyed there with the 
coming and going of our Squadrons, and the 
never-to-be-forgotten six months during which our 
ships had remained in the Bay. The amount of 


British gold spent in the markets during that six 
months was said to be about £1000 a day. Sultan 
Hamid, who never had enough money, on hearing 
of this, ordered the Governor of Salonika to send 
£10,000 a month to Yildiz, the Imperial Palace. 
On receipt of this order the Defterdar, or treasurer 
of the Vilayet, resigned, since at the same time 
the Sultan told him to send all the quarterly 
revenue. The poor Governor tore his hair in 
despair as to how he could squeeze out the amount 
for the salaries of the officials of the Vilayet and 
the other local expenses. 

We all had such good times in those dear old 
days, full of harmless fun and amusing, practical 
jokes, engineered by the sporting young officers, 
" my extraordinary nephews." I remember a 
grand picnic organised by Lieutenant S. at 
the Horticultural Gardens at Sedes. Everyone 
was happy and in high spirits. After luncheon 
S., delighted with the success of the party, came 
up to me and whispered, '' Aunt Fanny, I intend 
to take the prettiest ladies for a walk one by 
one and to kiss them all." "Nonsense," I said, 
" you risk a box on the ears from some and a 
cartel from a jealous husband or two asking you 
to fight a duel." 

" Wait and see," answered he, and disappeared 
into the garden with the prettiest girl. He came 
back after a time looking well pleased with himself, 
and went on with this amusing game to the end, 
and then came to report *' That it was all right, as 
he had not received any blows, nor did he expect 
to be called out." 

It was my duty to punish him for his 


impudence, but I never could put on a serious 
face with him, he was so full of fun and good 

Most of the youngsters on the ships were daily 
in and out of the Consulate, playing pranks 
whenever they got a chance. If at tea-time one 
or two of their superior officers were to be seen 
reflected in a mirror coming through the drawing- 
room door whilst they had their backs to it, they 
made dreadful grimaces and tried to upset the 
dignified look they assured me I assumed. On 
one occasion half a dozen of these boys came in to 
be dressed up for a charade. It happened that we 
were expecting Lord Charles Beresford to stay 
a night or two with us on his return from home. 
My husband, who greatly loved a joke, noticed 
in the group a young middy, dressed up as a 

" Come along, future admiral," said he, accord- 
ing to his usual habit in addressing a middy, 
" I shall need your services presently to take Lord 
Charles up to his room and to unpack for him." 

Before the boy had time to answer Lord 
Charles was announced, and my husband turned 
to meet him, and after talking for a little while 
pointed out to him, on his way to his room, the 
soi-disant maid, who was to attend to his needs. 
Lord Charles was much too hot and tired to pay 
any attention to the maid, who unpacked deftly 
for him and laid his clothes out in approved 
fashion. At supper, when he came in after the 
charade was over, he noticed, much to his amuse- 
ment, the pretty housemaid, apparently quite 
at her ease, chatting to those around her. He 


quickly realised the joke that had been played 
on him, and burst out laughing as he shook his 
finger at my husband as the instigator of the joke. 
Lord Charles was renowned for having been a 
regular pickle in his young days, and most good- 
naturedly did not mind the tables being turned 
upon him. 

Another time I asked Lieutenant S. to take 
the place of the missing fourteenth at a dinner 
I was giving to some admirals and captains. 
He demurred at first, but yielded to my request. 
My maid, Elvira, a nervous creature, helped to 
wait that night. After she had served "my 
extraordinary nephew" I noticed that she stood 
as far away as possible from the other guests 
and held the dish she was offering at arm's 
length. This attracted my attention, and when 
she served me I taxed her with her awkward 
waiting. Forgetting herself, she justified her 
action in a voice loud enough to be heard by 
my guests, " Madame, Monsieur S. m'a pince les 

When after dinner I asked S. what he meant 
by his atrocious behaviour, he said, "Aunt Fanny 
they are such sticks." 

Of course the story went the round of the 
Squadron and amused everybody. 

But I must not forget the good Turkish 
saying, "Vakit yoldjouya yol" (Do not linger 
on the road), and must bring my recollections of 
Salonika to an end and bid farewell to the dear 
old place. 

I began my journey for the New World via 
Uskub on the Dedeagatch railway hne, which 


passes through Bulgaria. On reaching Uskub 
I was reminded of my youthful days in that God- 
forsaken country, and I wondered how I had 
stood it. Uskub, still under the Turkish 
dominion, looked even worse than formerly in 
spite of the railway from Constantinople to 
Vienna, via Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. 
There was only one wretched hotel in Uskub, 
kept by a beggarly blonde German, who, a couple 
of years previously, had married the blacker of my 
two blackies. A year later the poor thing returned 
to her old home to die. 

My reflections were anything but joyful as 
I wandered in the parts where the best years of 
my youth had been spent, and to which the 
evolution of time had not brought any improve- 
ment. Even the railway carriage, dirty, dusty, 
and uncomfortable, seemed in harmony with the 
country. On crossing the frontier into Bulgaria 
I rejoiced to notice the changes and improvements 
that had taken place, and the air of prosperity that 
prevailed. In Sofia, the capital, fine houses, 
good shops, and public gardens had sprung into 
being like magic. 

"Decidedly," I said to myself, "old Bulgaria 
has awoke." 

A great step had been made in creating a 
House of Parliament in a population essentially 
agrarian, of few words and less eloquence. I 
thought I might still find the members of 
Parliament in their sheep-skin caps and coats, 
but instead, I found that Vienna had furnished 
the honourable members with plenty of black 
cloth and many pairs of white kid gloves, the use 


of which was taught by the few Bulgarians who 
had travelled in foreign countries, or by the 
civilised young men from Robert College. The 
proper use of gloves and handkerchiefs was, 
however, still a matter of some difficulty to a 
few, who did not quite know whether they had to 
put on their gloves before they blew their noses, 
or whether the pocket-handkerchief was a cover 
in which to wrap up the gloves. Indulgence 
must, of course, be shown to all beginners. No 
doubt the admirers of the Bulgarians in England 
see these external signs of civilisation, and do not 
give sufficient attention to the inherent character- 
istics of the Bulgarian nation. These characteristics 
call for the greatest care of the Entente in the 
settlement of the Balkan States. On arrival 
at Sofia M. Stambouloff honoured me with a 
visit. M. Stambouloff was the Venizelos of his 
country, whose ambition, so he told me, was that 
the Bulgarian Army should reach Constantinople. 
On noticing my questioning looks he banged his 
fist on the table, saying, " Et quand meme 
Madame nous le ferons." 

The untimely death, or rather murder, of this 
great patriot and, I believe, honest man, deprived 
Bulgaria of a great leader at a critical time in her 

I must give a bit of unwritten Bulgarian 
history, which strangely enough passed through 
my hands. During one of my visits to Constanti- 
nople, when Bulgaria had begun seriously and 
justly to clamour for reforms, a deputation of 
Bulgarians walked in to solicit my help in asking 
the English Ambassador to receive into the 


Embassy one of the clever students from Robert 
College. M. Tchomakoff, the spokesman of the 
deputation, which by the way was chiefly composed 
of old Philippopolis friends, said, " We want 
one of our students to have free entree into the 
Embassy, so that he may have the opportunity 
of giving proof of the miserable condition the 
Bulgarians find themselves placed in at the present 
time. We do not mind how humble a position 
our representative has, he might even be a shoe- 
black, so long as he is there to give a truthful 
account of Bulgaria's needs and aspirations." 

I could not refuse to render to my old friends 
what I considered a simple service. They cordially 
thanked me, and said they would return in twenty- 
four hours for the reply. 

I passed on the request to my brother, who 
was Oriental Secretary and First Dragoman, asking 
him to report it to His Excellency the Ambassador. 
My brother did not look at all encouraging, but 
said, " Come and see me later on." 

His answer, however, was, "Impossible, it 
cannot be done." , 

" Nonsense," said I impulsively, " What harm 
can there be in the Government being informed 
of the condition of Bulgaria." 

My brother smiled, saying, "Who tells you, 
silly little advocate of the Bulgarian cause, that 
the British Government wants to know at this 
moment what is going on in Bulgaria ? " 

Next morning the deputation returned for the 
reply. I softened it down as much as I could 
by expressing the regrets of the Ambassador on 
the inability of his Government to take up the 


Bulgarian question, since it was busy with other 
important State affairs. 

" Is that so," said my disappointed friends. 
"We neither like nor trust Russia, hut faute de 
mieuoo, we go from here to the Russian Embassy 
to settle matters with Russia." 

Shortly afterwards Russia declared war against 
Turkey. The Bulgarian troubles were just the 
excuse Russia wanted. The Bulgarian patriots 
neither loved nor trusted Russia, and were very 
much in dread of her influence over the country. 
The patriots were a set of honest men, justly 
anxious to clear the nation from the degrading 
power of Turkey, whose sole aim was to de- 
press the unfortunate people in every way, and 
to hinder their advance towards progress and 

I was especially interested in Serbia and her 
pretty picturesque capital, Belgrade, situated on 
the banks of the Danube, which alone separates 
Serbia from Austro-Hungary. Belgrade struck 
me as being greatly improved. The town, bright 
and peaceful, gave no sign of the coming storm 
and tragic end, in after years, of its young King 
and Queen, murdered to gratify party vengeance. 
By the extinction of the Obrenovitch family 
dangers of this kind were thought to have been 
removed for good, but alas ! luckless Serbia never 
expected to have in the twentieth century the 
deplorable set-back she has had at the hands of 
her cruel enemies, who are determined, if possible, 
to totally destroy her. There is hope that this 
will not be realised, since England and her Allies 
are deeply interested in Serbia's destiny. A short 



sketch of Serbia's history may not, I hope, be 
found out of place in these memoirs. 

The origin of the Serbs, Hke that of the other 
Balkan peoples, is rather hazy, beyond the fact 
that they sprang from the regions of the Car- 
pathian Mountains. They were a tribal race, 
under the control of a chieftain. They appeared 
in the Balkan Peninsula and crossed the Danube, 
encouraged by the Byzantine Empire, since they 
formed a bulwark against the invasions of other 
barbarous tribes. The Serbians flourished, and in 
the seventh century spread over a considerable 
portion of the Balkan Peninsula, extending their 
conquests into Macedonia and making Ragusa 
their capital. Growing strong and self-confident, 
in spite of their endless wars against their deadly 
enemies, the Bulgarians and other tribes, they 
prospered and formed their republic into a king- 
dom. Becoming more amenable to the influence 
of civilisation they adopted Christianity. In 1336 
the nation had reached its zenith, and the country 
was raised to the rank of Empire during the reign 
of Stephan Dushan, the great Slavonic genius. 
The short-lived empire began quickly to decline 
under the rising star of Turkey, which over- 
powered the Serbian forces at the famous Battle of 
Kossowa. The result of that battle sealed the 
downfall of Serbia. Serbia's civilisation at that 
time was in advance of some of the other states, 
and she might have become a fine European 
Power had she been fortunate enough to escape 
the degrading influence of the Osmanli domination. 
Of late years Serbia was taken up by Austro- 
Hungary, whose treatment of her has been even 


more cruel and unjustifiable than that of the 

I left Belgrade with my heart full of sweet 
memories of the time I spent there with my dear 
sister, Mrs Longworth, and her clever, delightful 
husband, who was one of the finest men I ever 
knew. After Belgrade my journey to London via 
Vienna was comparatively commonplace. 



I LEFT for Boston on one of those large liners, 
which appeared to me to be a floating town in 
miniature, where people lived, loved, married, and 
died, with no other marked difference than that in 
the latter case the wide ocean and not mother 
earth received their mortal remains. 

On reaching Boston om' huge boat appeared 
dwarfed by the vast quays, where wonderful 
machinery such as I had never dreamed of in 
the Near East took up, carried from ship to shore, 
and gently set down quantities of luggage or letter- 
bags. My husband who had come to welcome 
me looked so small down below under immense 
cranes that I hardly recognised him. Once landed 
he put me into a carriage. The custom-house 
officials graciously passed my boxes at once, and 
we drove away, while many of the lady passengers 
were still wondering how best to hide some of 
their precious Parisian purchases. 

My husband took me to an hotel which 
occupied the whole of one side of a street, and 
with his latchkey opened a door and ushered me 
into a sweet, pretty apartment in the annexe of 
the vast building. He had to go off to his office 



so left me with his blessing. I sat there by my 
solitary self a little uncomfortably dazed in mind 
and body after the sea journey, as we had been 
caught in the end of an Atlantic storm during the 
last day or two of our voyage. I noticed a bell 
and rang it. A fat, jolly looking Irish girl 
presented herself with a look of petulant surprise 
upon her face. " Madame," said she, " did you 
ring ? " 

" Yes," 1 said, but before I could add another 
word she said, "Madame, let me at once tell you 
that it is not customary to ring up servants at 
undue times. The service, once done in the 
morning, suffices for the rest of the day, and any 
little extra thing the lady wants she has to do 

" But suppose," I began. 

"There is no *but,' Madame, unless you pay 
down half a dollar each time." 

I thanked her for her timely information and 
began to look about me. Everything seemed 
beautifully clean, elegant, and orderly, but of 
bedroom furniture such as I knew it there was 
none, and I began to speculate whether my 
husband slept on one or two chairs, whether he 
went to the pump for a wash, and whether he did 
his shaving on one of the elegant little tables that 
appeared to me to be more ornamental than 
useful. Puzzled in my mind as to how I should 
accommodate myself to this new style, and where 
my clothes were to be put, I tried to open a big 
glass cupboard, misplaced as I thought in a sitting- 
room. It refused to open to all the efforts I 
made. I next tried a smaller article of furniture. 


which looked like a chest of drawers, with no 
better result. On examining what appeared to 
be a table I unknowingly pressed a spring, when a 
lid suddenly sprang up and hit me on the nose. 
I looked round for some water to bathe my nose, 
but there was none to be seen. Finding myself 
thus nonplussed in every way I sat down on a 
rocking-chair and pursed my poor nose with my 
pocket-handkerchief, and wondered whether all 
American ladies were in the habit of rocking 
themselves to sleep at night, and whether I should 
ever be able to do so, when my husband suddenly 
and silently walked up to me on the soft carpet. 
Seeing my distressed face and my red nose he 
anxiously asked me whether I was ill. 

** Of course not," I said, " at least I hope not, 
but how on earth do you expect me to live in 
a room that is all show without a single object of 
practical use." 

" Is that all," said he, with a smile, " shut your 
eyes for a minute till I tell you to open them." 

My husband was greatly amused at my 
surprised look when he bade me open my eyes, 
and I saw the rapid transformation of what I had 
taken for a pretty sitting-room into a perfectly 
furnished bedroom. The glass cupboard I had 
tried to open turned out to be a bed, the deep- 
bottomed table, the lid of which had hit my nose, 
was an elegant wash-stand, and the rest of the 
furniture through the agency of springs or elec- 
tricity was transformed into something adapted for 
a bedroom. 

"There," said my husband in a triumphant 
voice, "this is not Turkey but America, a new 


world which has made a rapid advance over the 
old one. You, a child of the sunny East, have 
much to see and to learn. Everything here is 
done on a large scale as well as on practical lines, 
but hurry up, as we have to go down to luncheon 
in a few minutes." My visit to America proved 
to be a long series of surprises of the labour-saving 
methods employed. 

The day following my arrival a meeting of 
Christian Scientists was held by order of Mrs 
Eddy, the great prophetess. 

I thought to myself that that would be another 
novelty worth seeing. I found that most of the 
Christian Scientists were sober, solemn-looking 
people of both sexes and all ages. Some of them 
looked not too healthy, and I was told that on 
principle they neglected their physical ailments, 
speaking of them as not existing, and leaving them 
to the care of the " healers," who prayed for them 
and over them at so much an hour, in addition to 
other formalities which interested me much owing 
to the similarity of this newest form of faith with 
that of the old Islamic one. The Turks do not 
give any serious attention to diseases, and even the 
most enlightened among them first have recourse 
in cases of illness to one of the learned hodjas or 
priests for prayers, amulets, and texts from the 
Koran, which they put on their heads or hang 
round their necks and arms. There is no show 
about these matters, they form part of the Islamic 
faith and are reverently and sincerely followed. 
On both sides no doubt wonderful cures are 
claimed in cases of neurotic complaints or of 
slight derangements, 


I had the good fortune to come across Mr and 
Mrs Kerr, dear old friends from Constantinople. 
Mr Kerr was a nephew of Admiral Lord Walter 
Kerr. We had delightful times together, and 
shared the comforts of my pretty apartment 
whenever they came to Boston, and amused 
ourselves by making dainty little Turkish dishes. 
We wandered about the town by day and often 
played bridge in the evening. I did not visit 
much, as I was not well, but occasionally I joined 
progressive bridge parties and played for prizes, 
though I did not care very much for these parties ; 
but bridge was the great rage in Boston at that 

There are two or three great forces in America, 
such as the Trusts, the Press, and the Police, 
which can make or mar the success of individuals 
as well as of great enterprises, and which are not 
always in harmony with public interests. In spite 
of all these things the New World is one of steady 
progress, in a way outdoing the Old World. The 
American descendants of the old country are 
a fine and gallant race who are developing in our 
times many of the old virtues which have brought 
the old and new countries close together in a 
lasting Entente Cordiale, much to the advantage 
of both. There is much to say in praise of 
America's share in the present troublous war, 
but I think it is best to let events speak for 

Unfortunately I could not go about much 
owing to my increasing rheumatism. I was 
very sorry that this prevented my visiting Canada 
with my husband, when he went at the head of 


the Veteran British Subjects to welcome Their 
Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of 
Wales. I saw the deputation, full of pride and 
joy at the prospect of doing homage to the future 
King of England, start from Boston. Needless to 
say Their Royal Highnesses received the deputa- 
tion with great kindness and courtesy. The Prince 
recognised my husband and talked to him of 
the old days at Salonika, and expressed his regrets 
that he could no longer enjoy the excellent 
cigarettes I used to offer him. The deputation 
was deeply impressed by the gracious attention be- 
stowed on my husband, and heartily cheered him. 

My husband was deUghted with his visit to 
Canada, and felt that that vast land was one of 
our finest colonies, which only needs the presence 
of some enlightened capitalists to develop more 
fully its wonderful natural resources. 

The ladies of Canada presented to my husband 
a beautiful piece of needlework as a souvenir of 
the pleasant time he had spent there. It is always 
with the deepest interest that I give myself the 
pleasure of becoming aquainted with Canadian 
and other colonial ladies in Malta. I find them, 
with hardly an exception, simple, charming person- 
alities, strong, healthy, and practical. 

My stay in Boston came to a sudden end 
owing to my dear son's return to England from 
West Africa, where he had contracted black water 
fever. I travelled home on one of the big liners, 
and felt more at ease than I had done on my 
outward voyage, as I had become famiharised 
with the large scale on which everything connected 
with the New World seemed to be done. 


My son and I went to Germany for treatment 
for him, and were given by a German doctor the 
address of a rest-house. No sooner had we entered 
the house than the door was locked behind us and 
two or three powerful men came and inspected us. 
We were ushered into the presence of the head 
of the establishment, who wanted me to sign a 
contract for the term of our stay ; but since his 
personality did not appeal to either of us, I declined 
to do so. As there was no room in the rest-house 
for me I found a lodging close by. Directly I 
left my son was put to bed, and his clothes were 
taken away. The medical attendant, perfectly 
drunk, went to his room, and finding he was 
an English officer, began to insult the English 
and the army in so violent a manner that my son, 
weak as h-e was, felt he must leave the place 
immediately. It was only then that he realised 
that he was in a lunatic asylum, locked up in 
a room with barred windows. Next morning I 
got access to his room with great difficulty, when 
I found him crazy with his experiences of the 
previous evening and intent on leaving the 
place at once. It cost me two hundred francs 
to get away, but we left that morning. This 
is a strange world where the unexpected often 
happens. Neither my son nor I had reckoned to 
get out of the frying-pan into the fire, but within 
twenty-four hours we found ourselves in a very 
similar sort of place ; but this time the director 
was honest enough to tell us that his place was 
for the mentally diseased. We tried no more 
rest homes after this, and after a short visit came 
away determined never to visit Germany again. 



The climate of England gave me no pleasant 
welcome on my return from Germany, and I 
had to go to Woodhall Spa for my rheumatism, 
and was advised to live in the south of Europe. 
I decided to make Malta our permanent home, 
and, since my son was quartered there, I deter- 
mined to start at once. I travelled on the 
British Queen, a cargo boat as uncomfortable 
and small as its name was good and great. I 
transhipped at Leghorn, where I had much 
trouble with the custom-house authorities. My 
luggage was taken into three different offices for 
the sake of the few pence each set of officials 
claimed after overhauling my things. A couple 
of agents of the famous Mafia Association followed 
my carriage and then got into the boat which took 
me to my steamer, in order to make sure of the 
tax which they imposed on both driver and 
boatman. I thought regretfully of the facilities 
of travel in Turkey, where once on arriving at 
Constantinople my maid went to the custom- 
house with my boxes and handed to the official 
in charge an advertisement from a biscuit box, 
which he gravely looked at upside down, nodded 

300 MALTA 

his head in approval, and on the receipt of a 
shilling passed all my belongings. 

I had visited Malta in my girlhood, but on my 
arrival there this time I was considerably impressed 
by the quaint-looking old town, or rather fortress, 
planted in a vast expanse of the Mediterranean, 
with azure waves beating against its time-worn 
walls and ramparts. The historical remains in 
Malta add a great charm to the island, which 
is said to be in the form of a huge mushroom, ix., 
a large domed surface on a narrow stalk of rock. 
In winter and spring Malta's rocky surface is 
covered with a velvety green carpet, interspersed 
with anemones, narcissus, blue iris, and other 
lovely flowers, while in the gardens a perfect 
wealth of roses is to be seen practically all the 
year round. In autumn and winter the blossoms 
are pale and sweet, like a timid maiden receiving 
the first kiss of love, whilst in spring and early 
summer the buds develop into blossoms of deeper 
colour and sweeter perfume. The orange and 
lemon trees take their share in adorning the island, 
with their gold and yellow fruits reflecting the 
bright soft shades of the stars above. All these 
beauties justify the Maltese in calling their island 
"II fior del mondo." Many people come each 
year to seek the winter warmth and sun in spite 
of the drawbacks, such as the absence of good 
hotels, and of lifts to the many flats up long 
flights of stairs, and other minor discomforts felt 
by those who come from highly civilised countries. 

Newcomers usually seek a home in Valetta, 
where the chief officials are quartered in fine old 
palaces and mansions built by the knights of St 


John. Most of these lovely old auberges are full 
of paintings and decorations, relics of the knights. 
Some of these fine houses are said to be haunted 
by the spirits of knights and others of bygone 
centuries, who occasionally visit their old dwellings. 
Some spirits are said to inflict marks of their 
displeasure on one or more of the present inhabi- 
tants they do not approve of. Others silently 
walk in and out of their old homes and give no 
sign beyond their passing apparition. The Maltese 
are naturally the most numerous inhabitants of 
the island, and it is mostly they who receive these 
mysterious visitors. 

Malta has great value and importance as a 
naval station with its numerous fine harbours and 
busy dockyard, and offers an ideal resort to our 
ships for rest and repairs, and a base from which 
they can guard the Mediterranean and the Near 
East. For these purposes Malta's value is price- 
less. It is England's care and money which have 
transformed the little island into a prosperous 
place, and she enjoys a peaceful security, in spite 
of the grumblings and murmurs of a few dis- 
contented inhabitants who sigh over the loss of 
cheap German-made goods, prompted probably by 
German spies and agents, who stuff the minds 
of ignorant people with wonderful promises of all 
that Germany would do for them should the island 
pass under the power of the Huns. These things 
would not be worth mentioning in themselves, 
but they show the efforts Germany is making here 
to diminish England's prestige. 

But to return to my arrival in Malta. My 
son came on board to fetch me. We looked about 


for a flat and took one in Strada Mezzodi. Jeanne 
joined us from Salonika, and, as my son was sent 
shortly on a mission to Italy, we two set to work 
to make our new home presentable before my 
husband should arrive from Boston. I must say 
that at the beginning I felt being cooped up in 
a little flat with only a few of my pretty belongings 
about me, and with but one servant, an ignorant 
Maltese maid of all work, as my domestic staff! 
Neither Jeanne nor I had much knowledge of 
housekeeping. I had forgotten all I knew, and 
Jeanne had had no experience. One day the maid 
was told to bring a fowl from the market. Jeanne 
inspected the bird and told Carmella that she had 
bought an old cock instead of a tender fowl. 
Carmella protested that it was a fowl, and when, 
on cleaning the bird, she found some eggs in 
various stages of development, she put them on 
a plate and triumphantly marched into the room, 
exclaiming, " Miss, miss, come and look ! This 
cock must be from your country as Maltese cocks 
do not make eggs." 

The scene was too funny for words, but 1 had 
to look serious in order not to hurt Jeanne's 

My husband joined us soon after this. He 
liked Malta at once, and enjoyed meeting many 
friends who were resident here, and quickly won 
the hearts of the Maltese by taking a deep interest 
in their concerns. He made friends, too, with the 
old ladies, and much to the delight of the children 
used to throw chocolates to them in the street. 
My husband liked the club, and helped by an 
old friend, Admiral Hammet, he organised bridge 


parties, which were then coming into fashion in 
Malta. With other friends he arranged some 
entertainments, combined with good lectures on 
many subjects, which satisfied all tastes and 
delighted the young people. 

One of my husband's chief interests was the 
creation of a body of Boy Scouts, and he was the 
first Honorary President of the movement in Malta. 
I wish he had lived long enough to see the success 
of this highly civilising movement, and the happy 
results it is having in a place where compulsory 
education, with its elevating influence, is non- 
existent. The fact that the Boy Scout movement 
has been accepted without controversy and is very 
popular, shows that the Maltese have accepted the 
fact that discipline is good for their children. 

Lord Grenfell, the Governor, was a delightful 
personality and enjoyed great popularity, and was 
aided by his charming niece, Mrs St Aubyn. The 
fine Squadron was under the command of Admiral^ 
Lord Fisher, with Lord Charles Beresford second 
in command. The ships were all under the control 
of distinguished men, most of whom we had 
known at Salonika. It was a great joy to us 
to meet our old friends again and to become 
acquainted with their families. Everyone was 
most kind to us. 

Lady Dingli was amongst my earhest friends, 
and her permanent home being in Valetta was a 
great comfort to me. I very much regret that of 
late years, owing to the war, her visit to England 
has been very prolonged, and I have seen nothing 
of her ; but her letters are a great pleasure to me. 

Among the great number of friends I made 


at this time I would specially mention Lady Barry, 
Lady Adelaide Colville, Lady Domvile, Lady 
Drury, Lady Curzon-Howe, Lady Phillimore, 
Lady Poe, and Lady Wemyss, who not only added 
much to the enjoyment of our life in the early days 
at Malta, but who showed me such extraordinary 
love and sympathy when the dark days of sorrow 
overtook me. 

Those were, indeed, good times for Malta, 
undisturbed by political agitation or coming 
trouble. The officials, in peaceful enjoyment 
of their positions for a certain term of years, had 
no cares and responsibilities beyond the welfare 
of the inhabitants and the improvement of the 
island, and displayed hospitality with true British 
lavishness. Valetta teemed with life and anima- 
tion, everyone ready to enjoy the bright sunshine, 
the delightful bathing, and the many other outdoor 

It was during our first season in Malta that 
my husband, while absorbed in a game of bridge at 
the club, received a telegram telling him that he 
had received a knighthood. He read the telegram 
and passed it to Admiral Hammet, making a sign 
to him to say nothing. As soon as the game 
was finished the Admiral disappeared. He came 
straight to our flat, rushed into the drawing-room, 
took me in his arms and embraced me, and so 
scandalised the astonished Carmella that she 
rushed into Jeanne's room, crying out, "Miss, 
there is an officer in the drawing-room who must 
be mad. Come and see." 

It was certainly a happy bit of news, which 
caused me much pleasure, as I felt my dear 


husband had well earned a recognition of his long 
and loyal services to his country during half a 
century. I cannot remember how long after this 
it was that H.M. King Edward paid a visit 
to Malta. The visit was a great event and new 
roads were made in anticipation of the Koyal 
visit, old roads were restored, ugly buildings were 
pulled down, and the neglected bit of land between 
Valetta and Floriana was laid out in pretty 
gardens. Most of this work was well and 
quickly done under the supervision of Sir Edward 
Merewether, one of the most distinguished and 
clever lieutenant-governors that Malta has ever 
had. His Majesty received a most hearty 
welcome, and gave great pleasure to all classes 
by walking freely about the town and chatting 
with people he recognised. There is no doubt 
that kindness and thoughtfulness for others are 
special gifts of our Royal Family. The Duke of 
Edinburgh was a great favourite in the Navy and 
at Malta, and so were all the other royal 
personages who honoured the island with a visit. 
T believe it was Queen Alexandra who won the 
hearts of the Maltese boatmen by going out alone 
in a dghasai, and who gave a sovereign to the 
delighted men on her return to shore. In a few 
hours this story was told all over Valetta. 

The Duke of Connaught came as High 
Commissioner, and was accompanied by the 
Duchess and Princess Patricia. Malta was proud 
and delighted to have members of the Royal 
Family resident in her midst, while the Duke 
and Duchess appeared to like the little island with 
its sunny skies and the freedom from court 



restraint. Both Sir John and I had most happy 
memories of the two years the Duke and Duchess 
were here, and I was very grateful for the special 
kindness they showed to my husband, who was 
beginning to feel his advancing years after the 
fatigue of incessant work for over half a century 
in the Service. 

It was on the day of his arrival that King 
Edward asked for my husband and knighted him, 
saying, ** Rise, Sir John, I am very glad to knight 
you with my own hands." I shall never forget 
how proud I felt that evening at a ball at the 
Palace to find myself in the midst of a large circle 
of old and new friends, who congratulated us on 
the happy event. 

King Edward paid a second visit to Malta 
some time later, when I had the privilege of 
talking to him of the bygone Constantinople 

The last Royal visit that Malta received was 
that of Their Majesties, King George and Queen 
Mary. The King is well known in Malta and 
everyone rejoiced to see him again. The Queen 
being with him gave double pleasure to all the 
inhabitants. Both Sir John and I have received 
so many kind attentions from the many members 
of the Royal Family it has been our privilege to 
meet, that I have an irresistible desire to put down 
in these my memoirs my humble thanks and my 
grateful feelings towards them. 

It was on some of the State entertainments 
given at night that our glorious Squadrons looked 
their best. In peaceful repose in the Grand 
FI arbour they showed thousands of electric lamps. 


which shed their bright lights all around and 
seemed to reflect the stars above. Fireworks were 
sent up to return in showers of golden sparks, 
crossed and re-crossed by the wonderful beams of 
the searchlights, which revealed in the darkness 
the outlines of the great vessels of might and 
power. On guest nights these great giants were 
transformed into hospitable homes. Dancing- 
rooms, ornamented with beautiful flowers and 
Hags, offered welcome and pleasure to the fortunate 
guests who entered this temporary fairyland. 
Those were happy, peaceful times, when a 
squadron of England's fine battleships, with its 
contingent followers, were all anchored in the 
Grand Harbour to enjoy rest, but ready at a 
moment's notice to put to sea for action if 

Unfortunately the years that succeeded these 
happy times have brought cares and anxieties to 
the nation incidental to the evil times that have 
fallen on us, but the King and his people have 
bravely determined at all costs to uphold the 
freedom of the seas and the independence of small 
nations. The Kaiser must surely realise the error 
he has committed in overlooking the sea power of 
England and the loyalty of her splendid colonies 
and dependencies. One of the great blessings this 
savage war has produced has been the bringing 
together in closer and more intimate relations all 
parts of the Empire, as well as demonstrating the 
true friendship of America. 

Everyone is of the opinion that up to the 
present time this sunny island is the safest and 
pleasantest residence in the world. Everything 


appears to run smoothly and comfortably except 
the cold, which has been unusually severe and long 
this winter, and which has been felt a good deal 
owing to the dearness of coal and scarcity of 
paraffin. Of course many things formerly thought 
to be indispensable are lacking, but the untiring 
solicitude of His Excellency, Lord Methuen, and 
his Staff, and Lady Methuen's thoughtful care for 
distressed families, tend to make things work 
smoothly. Under the heavy pressure of this 
terrific war everyone is full of anxiety for the 
heroes fighting and many have the sorrow of 
recent partings. My pen refuses to dwell either 
on the no distant past or the present. 

I am rejoiced to say that at times my sorrows 
are greatly lightened by the kindness and affection 
bestowed on me by many dear good friends, 
especially those in the Navy who from far and 
near do not forget me. I receive many delightful 
letters from some and enjoyable visits from others 
when they are in Malta. 

I heartily wish every good luck and happiness 
to all my "extraordinary nephews" and others to 
whom I will not wish a final good-bye, as I have 
every hope, should I live a while longer, to see the 
harbour of Malta free from all signs of war and 
become again the peaceful resting-abode of our 
splendid ships. 


Abbott, Alfred, 141, 143 

Abbott Henry, German Consul 
at Salonika, 1 38 ; murdered, 

Abbott, Mrs Henry, grief at the 
murder of her husband, 146 

Abd-el-Kader, at Brussa, 24, 278 ; 
appearance, 24 ; harem, 24 

Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, 
prophecy on Turkey, 48; char- 
acter of his rule, 158 ; imprison- 
ment, 159 ; death, 159 

Abdul Hamid, Sultan of Turkey, 
160; system of administration, 
161, 165; spies, 170; message 
to Lady Blunt, 171 ; orders 
Ministers to be murdered, 185 ; 
forms a Ministry of Public 
Works, 208 ; dethronement, 245 ; 
death, 280 

Abdul Medjid, Sultan of Turkey, 
palace, 41 ; reforms, 81 ; death, 

Adrianople, 124 ; Mosque of Sultan 
Selim, 97, 101: the Tek^, 97; 
Timarhane or House of Health, 
101 ; the old Seraglio, 105 ; silk- 
worms, 125 

Aidin, 241 

Albania, condition, 148 

Albanian atrocities, 70 ; laws, 70 ; 
brigands, 85, 89; outrages, 90; 
arrested, 94 

Alexandra, Queen, at Malta, 305 

Alexandria, the flagship, 191 

Ali Pasha, 158 

AH Pasha Tepedelen, 22 

Alington, Captain, 189 

Alison, Mr, 174, 201 

AUatini, Charles, 141, 219, 280 

Allatini, Mrs Charles, 280 


Alvarez, Mr, Consular Assistant at 

Salonika, 150; President of the 

Cour Judiciare at Crete, 266 
America, three great forces in, 296 
American missionaries, work in 

Bulgaria, 87 ; in Turkey, 211 
Andarti, Grisioti, at Brussa, 29 ; 

appearance, 29 ; picnic on Mount 

Olympus, 30 
Andon, the brigand, capture, 203 
Antonino, Padre, bravery, 264 
Arabi Pasha, rebellion, 153 
Armenian massacres, 275 
Asian, 88 
Athens, 239 
Athos, Mount, 247; number of 

monasteries, 247 ; rules, 247 ; 

relics, 248 
Atlantic, storm in the, 49 
Australia, H.M.S., at Salonika, 

Austria, intrigues in Macedonia, 


B., Mr, temporary Consul at 

Salonika, 173 
Babouna Pass, 109, 112, 114, 121 
Baird, Captain, in command of 

H.M.S. Swiftsure, 148 
Barry, Lady, at Malta, 304 
Batthyani, Count and Countess, 

at Brussa, 28, 29 
Battenberg, Prince Louis of, 188 ; 

at Salonika, 189; in command 

of H.M.S. Cambrian, 216 
Beaconsfield, Lord, invested with 

the Order of the Garter, 180 
Bekir, Emir, at Brussa, 23 
Bektashis, the, 242 
Belgrade, 109, 115, 289 



Beresford, Lord Charles, in com- 
mand of H.M.S. Condor, 153; 
at Salonika, 207, 219 ; joke 
played on him, 284; at Malta, 

Besim^, the Circassian, 233 

Bigham, Mr, war correspondent to 
the Times, 257 ; at Salonika, 257 

Bilinski, Isabelle de, 208 

Bilinski, Mary de, 208 

Biliotti, Sir Alfred, Consul-General 
at Canea, 270 

Biliotti, Lady, 270 

Bitholia (Monastir), 53, 128 

Bithynia, 1 

Black Sea, 1, 152 

Blunt, Fanny, Lady, journey to 
Uskub, 65, 286; servants, 66; 
Christmas dinner, 67 ; at Ther- 
apia, 76; meets the Prince of 
Wales, 82 ; at Smyrna, 84, 240 ; 
escapes from Albanian brigands, 
85, 89 ; at Philippopolis, 86, 93 ; 
escort of Albanians, 92 ; collec- 
tion of Chinese porcelain, 95 ; 
at Adrianople, 97, 124; as- 
sumes the disguise of a Turkish 
hanoum, 98, 166-69; house- 
warming party, 101 ; helps to 
subdue a fire, 103; visits the 
old Seraglio, 105 ; journey to 
Belgrade, 109-15, 289 ; reception 
at Kezanlik, 111 ; exchanges 
costumes, 113; crosses the 
Babouna Pass, 114, 121 ; accom- 
panies Turkish ladies to Vienna, 
115-17; illness, 121; at Nish, 
122 ; inspects a Turkish jail, 
122-24 ; rears silkworms, 125-27 ; 
birth of a son, 128 ; encounters 
a storm at Vodena, 129 ; at 
Monastir, 130 ; adventure with 
a "Perishan," 132; at Salonika, 
134, 185, 207, 236, 272; illness 
of her husband, 150; at Con- 
stantinople, 152, 203, 253, 275 ; 
meeting with Dr Schliemann, 
154 ; at Stamboul, 162 ; visit to 
Dervish Pasha, 163 ; attends a 
service in the Mosque of St 
Sophia, 166; in England, 176, 
214, 297; publication of The 
Peoijle of Turkey, 176 ; meeting 
with Mr Gladstone, 177 ; at an 

"at home," 179; at a reception 
at the Foreign Office, 180; con- 
versation with Lord Salisbury, 
180 ; meeting with Lord Lucan, 
181 ; entertains the Duke of Edin- 
burgh, 189-91 ; Consulate burnt 
down, 199-203 ; at Brussa, 203 ; 
death of her father, 203 ; rescues 
the Tchorbadjis of Cassandra, 
212-14; "extraordinary nephews," 
220 ; in Egypt, 222 ; at Cairo, 
223-32 ; five-pointed star, 225 ; 
at Athens, 239; on board a 
Kussian ship, 246 ; visits Mount 
Athos, 249-53 ; at Kandia, 264 ; 
at a meeting of Moslem ladies, 
268 ; at Sedes, 279 ; receives a 
deputation of Bulgarians, 287- 
89 ; at Boston, 292-97 ; present 
at a Christian Scientist meeting, 
295 ; attack of rheumatism, 296 ; 
illness of her son, 297 ; at Ger- 
man rest-houses, 298 ; at Malta, 
Blunt, Sir John, Vice-Consul at 
Uskub, 54 ; engagement, 60 ; 
marriage, 64; cases, 69; con- 
sular duties, 70; mission to 
Macedonia, 76 ; at Philippopolis, 
77; receives a deputation of 
Bulgarians, 78; transferred to 
Philippopolis, 84; character of 
his influence, 88, 148; tracks 
Albanian brigands, 91-4 ; trans- 
ferred to Adrianople, 96, 172 ; 
temporary Consul-General at 
Belgrade, 109; Consul at Mon- 
astir, 128 ; at Salonika, 131 ; 
President of the Cercle des 
Etrangers Club, 135 ; meas- 
ures to suppress the riot, 142- 
45, 147; illness, 150; remedy, 
151 ; at Constantinople, 152 ; 
Consul-General at Salonika, 181; 
awarded the Crimean medal, 
182 ; decorations and orders, 
202 ; in England, 214 ; Consul- 
General at Boston, 270, 272; 
collection of newspaper cuttings, 
272 ; visit to Canada, 296 ; at 
Malta, 302 ; organises bridge 
parties, 302 ; Hon. President of 
Boy Scouts, 303 ; knighthood 
conferred, 304, 306 



Blunt, Lucy, 103 ; proposals of 
marriage, 107 ; prophecy on, 

Borliss, Captain, 47 

Bosnian prisoners, at Brussa, 31 ; 
characteristics, 31 ; customs, 

Bosphorus, the, 1, 41, 152 

Boston, 292 

Boy Scouts, at Malta, 303 

Boyes, Captain, 189 

British Queen^ cargo boat, 299 

British Squadron, at Salonika, 
212, 216 ; at Malta, 303, 306 

Brook, Colonel, in command of 
the Connaught Rangers, 225 

Brussa, 1, 203 ; first impressions, 
3 ; the Christian quarter, 4, 6 ; 
the Turkish, 4, 6 ; churches, 6 ; 
courts of justice, 14 ; reception 
of an Italian Commission, 15-17; 
epidemic of cholera, 19; State 
prisoners, 22-24 ; Persian, 26 ; 
Bosnian, 31 ; Roumanians, 32 ; 
mineral springs, 36 ; earthquake, 
38-40 ; forest fire, 50 

Bulgaria, 286 ; religious griev- 
ances against the Greeks, 77 ; 
proposal to France, 77 ; to Eng- 
land, 78 ; work of the American 
missionaries, 87 
Bulgarians, cruelty, 88 ; character- 
istics, 261, 287 ; deputation to 
Lady Blunt, 287-89 
Bulwer, Sir Henry, Ambassador 

at Constantinople, 51, 76^ 
Bulwer, Lady, at Constantinople, 
76 ; entertains the Prince of 
Wales, 82 

Cairo, 223 ; the Ghezireh Palace, 

Calvert, Mr, British Consul at 

Salonika, 54 
Cambrian, H.M.S., 216 
(>ambridge, H.R.H. Duke of, at 

Constantinople, 44 ; anti-slavery 

mission to Circassia, 44 ; at 

Cairo, 223 
Canada, 297 
Canea, 270 
Canelli, Mr, 239 
Cardale, Captain, 189 

Carmella, 302, 304 
Cavalla, 85 

Charnaud, M., 191, 197, 219; lemis 
his house to Lady Blunt, 207, 
Chassaud, Mr, 228 
Chermside, Colonel Sir Herbert, 
British Commissioner at Kandia, 
Cholera, epidemic of, at Brussa, 

Christian Scientists, meeting at 

Boston, 295 
Christians and Moslems, hatred 

between, 148 
Circassia, anti-slavery mission at, 

Colville, Lady Adelaide, at Malta, 

Condor, H.M.S., 149, 153 

Connaught, H.R.H. Duchess of, 
at Malta, 305 

Connaught, H.R.H. Duke of. High 
Commissioner of Malta, 305 

Connaught, Princess Patricia, at 
Malta, 305 

Connaught Rangers, quartered at 
Cairo, 223 ; dinner given by, 

Constantine, King of Greece, in 
command of the forces in 
Larissa, 256 ; under the influ- 
ence of Germany, 260 

Constantinople, 1, 44, 76, 152, 187, 
275; American Robert College, 

Couli Mirza, Prince, at Brussa, 26 

Couli, Princess, at Brussa, 26 

Coutts, Lady Burdett, 178 ; recep- 
tions, 179 

Cretans, the, 269 

Crete, troubles in, 215, 217 ; mass- 
acres, 255, 264 ; expulsion of the 
Turks, 265-67 ; Gendarmerie 
Corps, 266, 267 ; archaeological 
treasures, 270 

Crimean War, 35 

Crosbie, Mr and Mrs, 134 

Currie, Sir Philip,Under-Secretary 
of State, 180 

Curzon-Howe, Lady, at Malta, 

Custance, Captain, 266 

Czartorjska, Princess, 80 



Dagh Devekan, the " Remover of 

Mountains," 106 
Danube, the, 109, 117, 289, 290 
Dardanelles, the, 154 
Dembinski, General and Mdme., 

at Brussa, 28 
Dere Beys or feudal lords, 5 
Dervish Pasha, 132, 163 ; hatred 

of the English, 164; prayers, 

Dingli, Lady, at Malta, 303 
Domvile, Lady, at Malta, 304 
Drury, Lady, at Malta, 304 

Earthquake, at Brussa, 38-40 

Eddy, Mrs, meeting of Christian 
Scientists, 295 

Edinburgh, H.R.H. Duke of, at 
Salonika, 95, 189-92, 194; in 
command of the Mediterranean 
Squadron, 188 ; at Athens, 240 

Edward VII., King, at Malta, 305, 

Egypt, 222 ^ 

Egyptian princesses, 232 

Elliot, Sir Henry, 147 

Elvira, 285 

England, influence in Turkey, 81 

Epirus, 71 ; condition, 148 

Evans, Sir Arthur, explorations in 
Crete, 270 

Everett, Adm. Allan F., 221 

Fatima Kadin Epfendi, 16 
Fatime Hanoum Effendi, on the 

treatment of women, 165 
Fire, outbreak of, at Salonika, 

Fisher, Admiral Lord, in command 

of the British Squadron at Malta, 

Foreign Office, reception at, 180 
Fortunato, Signor, Consul at 

Brussa, 6 
Freshfield, Dr, 241 
Fuad Pasha, 158 ; harem, 187 

Gallipoli, 76 
Garachanine, Mr, 119 
Garden, Dan, at Bitholia, 58 
Garnett, Miss, 175 

George V., King, 188 ; at Salonika, 
189-92; Athens, 240; Malta, 

George, King of Greece, corona- 
tion, 239 

George, Prince,- of Greece, High 
Commissioner of Crete, 265 

Germany, intrigues in Turkey, 81, 
209, 211, 275 ; in Greece, 237 ; 
character of rest-houses, 298; 
intrigues in Malta, 301 

Gladstone, W. E., meeting with 
Lady Blunt, 177 ; anti-Turkish 
policy, 178 

Gladstone, Mrs, 178 

GreecCj independence of, 29 ; 
religious disputes with the 
Bulgarians, 77 ; brigands, 149 ; 
reforms, 237 ; intrigues of Ger- 
many, 237 ; monasteries at 
Mount Athos, 247 ; war against 
Turkey, 255 

Greeks, character of their home 
life, 238 ; take Salonika, 260 

Grenfell, Lord, Governor of Malta, 

Gwynne, Mr, 257 

Hadji Eivat, 9 

Hammet, Admiral, at Malta, 302, 

Hanson, Mr and Mrs, 241 
Hanson, Zoe, 241 
Hassan, Pasha, 64 
Helen, Empress, builds the first 

monastery at Mount Athos, 247, 

Hortiach, Mount, 136, 215 
Hunyadi, Countess, 118. See 

Hussein Aga, 67, 76, 85, 110, 121, 


Ikby, Miss, 32 

Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, 231 
Italian Commission, reception at 
Brussa, 15-17; Fleet, at Sal- 
onika, 187, 236 

Jail, a model, at Nish, 122-24 
Janissary Rebellion, 1 



Jeanne, Mdlle, 169; at Salonika, 
215, 217; Kandia, 264; Malta, 

Jerningham, Sir Hubert E. H., 
lines on Sir J. Blunt, 184 

Jerusalem, portrait of the Kaiser 

Longworth, Sophy, 115, 291 ; at 
Bitholia, 53 ; reception of her 
husband, 58 ; death, 275 

Lucan, Lord, meeting with Lady 
Blunt, 181 

Lumley, Lord, 76 

Kadi Keui, 42 

Kalokerinos, Mr, British Agent 

at Crete, wife and child mur- 
dered, 255 
Kandia, 264 ; massacre, 264 ; 

museum, 270 
Karaja, Prince, murdered, 152 
Kerrj Admiral Mark, 221 
Kerr, Admiral Lord Walter, in 

command of the Mediterranean 

Se^uadron at Salonika, 197, 207, 

Kerr, Mr and Mrs, 296 
Kezanlik, 111 ; tower of human 

skulls, 109 
Kiamil EflFendi, 97 
Kibrisly Mehemet Pasha, 76 ; 

Governor-General of Adrianople, 

Kitchener, Lord, at Cairo, 223 ; 

relations with Lord Wolseley, 

225 ; mission to the Soudan, 

Komitadjis or armed marauding 

bands, 148 
Kossowa, Battle of, 290 
Kossuth, General, at Brussa, 28 
Kossuth, Mdme, at Brussa, 28 ; 

appearance, 29 
Koutsflena, 261 

Kucutlu, sulphur baths, 37, 207 
Kusha, 175 

L., M. and Mdme, 219, 220 

Lacretelle, M. and Mdme de, 198 

Layard, Sir Henry, 176 

Lazaros, Mr, 139 

Leghorn, 299 

Lesseps, M. le Baron de, the Suez 

Canal, 52, 231 ; at Brussa, 52 
Longworth, Mr, anti - slavery 

mission to Circassia, 44 ; Consul 

at Bitholia, 53 ; buys an estate, 

57 ; character, 291 

Macedonia, mission to, 76 ; mix- 
ture of nations, 133 ; condition, 

148 ; intrigues of Austria, 195 ; 

refugees at Salonika, 257 ; 

opinion of the English, 262 
Macedonian Greeks, neutrality in 

the Greco-Turkish war, 259 
MacKenzie, Miss, 32 
Mahmoud, Sultan, suppresses the 

system of Dere Beys, 5 
Malta, 176, 300; naval station, 

301 ; German intrigues, 301 
Mamounis, the, 243-45 
Mardiros Effendi, adventure at 

Uskub, 73-75 
Marechon, attack of cholera, 19 
Marion, the blackie, 61, 65, 121 ; 

marriage and death, 286 
Maritza, river, 101 
Markham, Admiral, at Salonika, 

216 ; drowned, 217 
Marmora, Sea of, 3 
Mary, Queen, at Malta, 306 
Mediterranean, the, 300; Squadron, 

at Salonika, 188-93, 197-99, 209 
Mehemet Ali, Khedive of Egypt, 

228 ; career, 228-30 
Merewether, Sir Edward, Lieut.- 

Governor of Malta, 305 
Merion, Mr, Missionary, murdered, 

90, 273 
Merion, Mrs, 90 
Methuen, Lady, at Malta, 308 
Methuen, Lord, Governor of Malta, 

176, 308 
Midhat Pasha, 158; reforms, 121, 

122, 184 ; assassinated, 185 
Milly, the blackie, 61, 65, 175 
Monastir, 128, 130 
Moslems and Christians, hatred 

between, 148 
Moudania, 2, 3, 40 
Moulin, M., French Consul at 

Salonika, 138 ; murdered, 141 
Moulin, Mdme, grief at the mur- 
der of her husband, 143, 145 



Murad, Prince, Sultan of Turkey, 
160; character, 160; deposed, 
160 ; coronation, 161 

Murray, John, 156, 177 

Napoleon III., Emperor, portrait, 

24, 278 
Nico, the brigand, 149 
Nile, the, 222 

Nish, 122; model jail, 122-24 
Nivesta, exchanges costumes with 

Lady Blunt, 113 . 

Obrenovitch, Prince Michael, 

118 ; character of his rule, 118 ; 

assassinated, 120 
Obrenovitch, Princess Julia, 118 ; 

visit to England, 119. See 

Olympus, Mount, 8, 13, 30, 52, 

136, 185, 188, 282 
Orkhan, Sultan, tombs, 13 
Osman Ghazi, 57 
Osman Pasha, 34 

Palliser, Captain, 189 
Palmerston, Lord, pun, 120 
Pelagonia, Archbishop of, 61, 63 
People of Turkey, publication of, 

Pera, 42 

" Perishan," or holy madman, 132| 
Persian refugees, at Brussa, 26 
Philii)popolis, 77, 86; Eoman 

antiquities, 95 
Phillimore, Lady, at Malta, 304 
Pindus, Mount, 282 
Pisani, Count, 205 
Poe, Lady, at Malta, 304 
Pomaks, the, 86 
Pringle, Captain, 189 

Qiieen of the Seas, 188 

Ragusa, 290 

Raouf Pasha, 34, 64, 169 

Redjeb Pasha, in command of the 

forces in Macedonia, 195, 213; 

kiosk, 195; dismissed, 196; 

funeral, 196 
Reid, Lt. -Colonel, at Kandia, 264 

Repoulis, Mr, Vice-President of 

Greece, 263 
Rice, Captain, 189 
Rice plants, growth of, in a box, 96 
Ricketts, George, marriage, 48 ; 

Consul in the Caucasus, 152 
Ricketts, Matilda, at Constanti- 
nople, 152. See Sandison 
Riza Pasha, 239, 257 
Roumania, secret convention with 

Russia, 33 
Roumania, Prince Charles of, 33 
Roumanians, at Brussa, 32 
Routh, Mr, 200 
Russia, 253 ; secret convention 

with Roumania, 33 ; war against 

Turkey, 289 
Russian monastery, at Mount 

Athos, 247, 248 

S., Lieutenant, escapade, 283 

Sabatay Zevy, 243 

Sailors, amusements on shore, 193 ; 
practical jokes, 218 

St Aubyn, Mrs, at Malta, 303 

St Basil, monastic rules, 247, 

Salisbury, Lady, 177 

Salisbury, Lord, interview with 
Lady Blunt, 180 

Salonika, 46 54, 129, 272, 280; 
elesuit College, 77 ; Cercle des 
Etrangers Club, 135; the Jew- 
ish quarter, 135 ; bazaar, 136 ; 
massacre of Consuls, 138-41 ; 
riot, 141 ; death of a Russian 
Consul, 182 ; outbreak of fire, 
199-203; charity bazaar, 207; 
Ministry of Public Works, 208 ; 
taken by the Greeks, 260 

Salonika, Bay of, 185 

Sandison, Sir Alfred, 8 ; adventure 
with a camel, 10; knowledge 
of languages, 44; rescued from 
a crowd of Sof tas, 46 ; in 
London, 49 ; at Constantinople, 
51, 152 ; death, 275 

Sandison, Donald, British Consul 
at Brussa, 1 ; attack of cholera, 
20 ; death, 203 

Sandison, Fanny Janet, birth at 
Therapia, 1 ; nurse, 2 ; journey 
to Brussa, 2-4 ; childhood, 8 ; 



education, 8 ; adventure with a 
camel, 10-12 ; caught in a storm, 
12 ; at a Persian luncheon, 26 ; 
picnic on Mount Olympus, 30 ; 
experiences an earthquake, 38- 
40 ; on board a man-of-war, 40- 
42 ; at Kadi Keui, 42 ; first ball, 
43 ; in London, 49 ; experiences 
a storm in the Atlantic, 49 ; 
return to Brussa, 50; ascends 
Mount Olympus, 52 ; journey 
to Bitholia, 54 ; engagement, 
60 ; marriage, 64. See Blunt 

Sandison, John, 8 ; farm at Hadji 
Eivat, 9, 50 

Sandison, Lad)^, 152 

Sandison, Matilda, 39 ; attack of 
cholera, 20 ; rescued from a 
crowd of Softas, 46 ; marriage, 
48.^ iS'ee Ricketts 

Sandison, Mrs, children, 1 ; ser- 
vants, 2 ; journey to Brussa, 3 ; 
death of a daughter, 20 ; at 
Constantinople, 152 ; death of 
her husband, 203 ; helps to cap- 
ture the brigand Andon, 203 ; 
acts of kindness, 204 ; method 
of disinfection, 206 

Sandison, Nancy, vision, 18 ; 
death from cholera, 20 

Schliemann, Dr, excavations, 154- 

Sedes, baths, 279 

Selim, Sultan, Mosque of, 97, 101 ; 
Timarhane or House of Health, 

Serbia, 115, 289 ; history, 290 

Serbs, origin. 290 

Seymour, Admiral Sir Michael 
Culme, in command of the 
British Squadron at Salonika, 

Sheik, treatment of the horse 
" Swift," 72 ; prediction, 73 

Sheik, a drunken, treatment by 
his wife, 124 

Sidi AUol, 24; form of punish- 
ments, 25 

Silkworms, method of rearing, 125- 

Slatiii Pasha, at Cairo, 223 ; cap- 
tivity at Omdurman, 227 

Smyrna, 84, 240 ; construction of 
a railway to Aidin, 241 

Sofia, 110, 286 

Soudan, 226 ; war in the, 232 

Stamboul, 2, 162 ; Mosque of St 

Sophia, 166 
Stambouloff, M., 287 
Stephan, Archduke, of Austria, at 

Salonika, 186 
Stephan Dushan, 290 
Stevenson, Mr, 257 
Stoyanovitch, Mr, 78, 86, 89 
Stoyanovitch, Mrs, 86 
Stones, medicinal, use of, in 

illness, 151 
Stratford de Redcliffe, Lady, at 

Mount Athos, 253 
Stratford de Redclifle, Lord, 

Ambassador at Constantinople, 

Suchodolska, Mrs, at Constanti- 
nople, 80 ; Adrianople, 102 
Suez Canal, 52, 231 
Suter, Mr, temporary Consul at 

Salonika, 172 
" Swift," the horse, illness and 

recovery, 72 
Swiftswe, H.M.S., at Salonika, 

145, 146 
Synge, Colonel, at Mon astir, 130 ; 

taken prisoner by brigands, 149 ; 

released, 150 

Taylor, Mr, Consul at Erzerum, 

Tchaykovsky, General, 57 

Tchomakoff, Dr, 78, 288 

Tchorbadjis of Cassandra, rescue 
of, 212-14 

Therapia, 1, 152 

Thessalonica, 135. See Salonika 

Thessaly, condition, 148 

Tinseau, Leon de, at Salonika, 

Troubridge, Admiral, at Salonika, 

Troy, 156 

Tryon, Admiral Sir George, in com- 
mand of the British Squadron 
at Salonika, 216 ; drowned, 

Tryon, Lady, 217 

Tunja, river, 96, 101 

Turco-Russian War, 33, 172, 184, 



Turkey, disappearance of slavery, 
45 ; prophecy on, 48 ; condition 
of the army, 57 ; nikiah or 
marriage institution, 60 ; treat- 
ment of women, 158, 165-69 ; 
fatalistic belief in "kismet," 
209 ; German intrigues, 209, 211, 
275 ; aims of the Young Turkey 
Party, 210 ; work of the Ameri- 
can missionaries, 211 ; war 
against Greece, 255 ; troops land 
at Salonika, 256 ; corruption of 
Yildiz, the Imperial Palace, 

Turkish ladies, treatment of the 
Italian Commission, 15-17 ; 
journey from Belgrade to 
Vienna, 115-17 

Turks, treatment of Christians, 
265 ; of illness, 295 

UsKUB, 65, 286 

Valetta, 300, 304 

Vard^r Eiver, 65 

Venizelos, M., administration of 

Greece, 48, 237 ; recreator of 

modern Greece, 270 
Versami, Mr, chief of the Bek- 

tashis, 242 
Victoria, Queen, jubilee, 236 
Victoria, H M S., sinks, 216 

Vienna, 117 

Viscovitch, Mr, Austrian Consul- 

General at Salonika, 190 
Vodena, 54 ; storm at, 129 
Volo, battle at, 259 
Vulkowich, Mr, 78 

Wales, II.R.H. Edward, Prince 

of, at Constantinople, 81-83 ; 

Canada, 297 ; reception of Sir 

J. Blunt, 297 
Wemyss, Admiral Sir Rosslyn 

207, 220 
Wemyss, Lady, at Malta, 304 
Whitaker, Mr, Consular agent at 

Cavalla, 85 
William II., Emperor of Germany, 

influence on Turkey, 133 ; in 

London, 214 ; Constantinople, 

276 ; gifts, 277 
Wolseley, Lord, opinion of Sir E. 

Zohrab, 223- at Cairo, 223; 

relations with Lord Kitchener, 

Woodhall Spa, 299 
Woollcombo, Admiral Maurice, 221 

ZoHRAB, Sir Edward, experiences 
in the Khedival Court, 152 ; 
rescues the harem, 153; at 
Cairo, 223 ; death, 275 

Zulfica, 234 



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